Adding to the authorities’ woes, rains have now caused leaks near the departure gates at both new terminals
Work to repair the false ceiling that collapsed at the new domestic terminal of the Chennai airport has begun.
On August 11, in the second such incident in four months since the new terminal was commissioned, 23 panels behind the IndiGo, Go Air and Air India check-in counters caved in.
According to officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the incident occurred due to a heavy condensation process – the panels, made of gypsum board and located near the air-conditioning diffusers, had absorbed a lot of moisture and their screws had come loose.
“We have begun replacing the gypsum board panels in other vulnerable areas of the terminal as well, so that this problem does not recur. The work is being done at night from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. when there are fewer flight operations. It is a time-consuming process and may take more than a month or two,” said an AAI official.
Early in May, panels near the security-hold area of the new domestic terminal had fallen due to heavy winds.
Meanwhile, the recent rains that lashed the city have caused leaks near the gates in the departure halls of both the new domestic and international terminals.
Following this, departure gates 1 and 3 were closed and passengers were allowed in only through gates 2 and 4 at the new domestic terminal. Works to fix these leaks is on, police officers said.
The leaks could also be due to the same condensation process and may not have been due to the rains, said another AAI official.
The problem will be resolved as soon as the panels are replaced, said the official.