Most of the airlines, which have been moving in a phased manner, have shifted
Airport authorities have set a target of mid-November to make the departure hall in the new international terminal of Chennai airport completely operational.
Though the new international terminal was inaugurated late in January this year, it was commissioned only in the first week of August. During the last two months, airlines have been moving into the terminal in a phased manner. Most of the airlines, including IndiGo, Lufthansa, Jet Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air and Air Asia, have shifted to the new terminal.
“Some of the airlines, including Air India and Tiger Airways, are yet to shift to the new terminal. We gave them time till mid-November to move in. They had asked us for some more facilities including some additional rooms and we have provided them with their requirements,” said an official of Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Most of the restaurants and shops too have relocated to the new terminal. In the old terminal, only a few shops remain.
Now, the terminal has three inline baggage scanners — two machines from the old international terminal and one transported from Srinagar. Passengers check-in and finish the security procedures in the new terminal, but are sometimes forced to board from the old terminal. This could continue for a while even after the new terminal becomes fully operational, said another official. “This is because one of the bays cannot be used due to some obstructions. The other bay in the new terminal can take only narrow-body aircrafts for now,” he said.
Sources in the airport say the arrival operations may not commence in the new terminal for at least another month as AAI still grapples with lack of manpower in the customs section. Hence, aircrafts will continue to arrive at the old international terminal for a while.