Singapore-bound Jet Airways flight to take off at noon; arrivals to continue at old facility

Seven months after it was inaugurated, the new international terminal of Chennai airport will begin functioning formally on Wednesday.

A Singapore-bound Jet Airways flight (9W-22) will take off from the terminal on Wednesday noon. Thereafter, all international flights of IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air Austral and SpiceJet will operate from the new terminal.

Other airlines will move to the terminal in a phased manner after August 14. However, only departures will be handled for now; arrivals will continue at the old international terminal, said an official of Airports Authority of India (AAI).

“It may take nearly a month for departure operations to completely relocate to the new terminal. But handling of arrivals seems very unlikely, primarily because Customs is still grappling with lack of manpower,” said the official.

Additional manpower will be employed to guide passengers to the new terminal. “Signage too has been put up for the benefit of passengers. Despite this, there are chances some passengers will land up at the old terminal. So, it is better the airlines inform their passengers of the new terminal in advance,” another official said.

The in-line baggage system that was brought from Srinagar will be used at the new terminal for now. Subsequently, as more flights are operated from the new facility, the in-line system from the old terminal may be shifted here, he said.

Despite minister of State for civil aviation, K.C. Venugopal, announcing in May that the international terminal would be opened in a month’s time, several delays continued to mar the new facility. When a trial run was conducted in July, passengers who flew out of the terminal complained of poorly-maintained toilets, among other issues.

Minor mishap

Meanwhile, around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, a battery inside the pump station opposite the AAI office burst when a technician attempted to switch on the motor. There was a loud noise but nobody was injured in the accident, an official said. The battery will be replaced soon, the official said.

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