The terminal building at the Coimbatore airport is being expanded and the newly constructed area will be used exclusively for domestic and international arrivals. It is expected to be ready for receiving delegates for the World Classical Tamil Conference.

D. Devaraj, Regional Executive Director, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Southern Region, has told The Hindu that after the expansion, the building area will go up from 6,000 sq m to 14,000 sq m. The enhanced terminal building area will be able to handle up to 700 passengers in both arrival and departure sections.

The work began in January last year and AAI has so far spent Rs.78 crore.

A new parallel taxi track, laid at a cost of Rs.31 crore; four state-of-the-art fire tenders; extension of runway; new fire station and a workshop are some of the other facilities added to the airport.

The new parallel taxi track was commissioned recently, Mr. Devaraj said.

Originally there was no air-condition facility at the Coimbatore airport. However, the expanded area will be totally air-conditioned. Facilities such as escalators and lifts will be added to it.

AAI will also provide two aerobridges at the Coimbatore airport. It is planning to dismantle aerobridges at the old Bangalore airport and re-install them in Coimbatore.

The AAI has asked the State government to allocate 613 acres for the new terminal building.

The existing area of the airport is only 603 acres. If the State government allocates the land, facilities, including a new apron, will be constructed. The new building will be able to handle a total of 1,200 passengers in both arrival and departure sections. AAI has finalised the plan.

Work on three new parking bays and increasing the car parking facility are some of the other development works taking place at the airport. At present the airport sees 42 aircraft movements per day and handles 3050 passengers, Mr. Devaraj adds.