Operationalisation of the arrival hall at the new domestic terminal at the Chennai airport will be further delayed due to re-modification work on the ramp leading to the baggage make-up and break-up area.

As per the original design, tiles were pasted on the ramp and tractors attached to baggage trolleys were able to climb the ramp under dry conditions. However, trials were conducted under wet conditions and the trolley fell off the ramp, creating problems for the airline operators.

Following this, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) decided to remove the tiles and replace it with concrete, making the surface suitable for the movement of tractors and trolleys.

H.S. Suresh, airport director, Chennai Airport, said, originally it was proposed to operationalise the arrival hall in the first week of March. “The authorities have begun the re-modification work yesterday. It looks like the work may take another 20 days to complete. So, the arrival hall of the new domestic terminal will become open to public only after that,” he said.

A senior AAI official conceded that different types of prime movers — farm tractors, diesel and battery-operated vehicles — were operated on the ramp by a ground-handling agency. Under wet conditions, trial runs were conducted thrice but on all three occasions, it failed to meet the requirements of the airlines, he said.

For this operation, instead of a type of tile that could accommodate the movement of vehicles, an unsuitable one had been selected and laid, the official said.

After completing the modification work at the domestic terminal, the authorities would have to conduct trial runs again. The same process would then be carried out at the international terminal too.

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