Acres had been earmarked for parallel runway 8 years ago; project shelved now

The Kancheepuram district administration has de-notified 852.82 acres in Gerugambakkam, Tharapakkam and Kovoor villages near the airport.

Pieces of land in these areas were notified nearly eight years ago for creation of a parallel runway at Chennai airport.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) sources said in 2006 the State government had notified 1,084 acres in these places after it proposed to create a parallel runway. However, the proposal was dropped after a lot of protest from local residents.

According to Kancheepuram district administration authorities, an order for de-notification was issued on March 1 this year, but it was not sent for publication as the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections was in place.

A senior AAI official said, of the total 1,084 acres, 126 acres were used to build the secondary runway, 16 acres on the Manappakkam side were utilised for installing instruments and another 90 acres for setting up aviation fuel system facilities.

Now, with the AAI having shelved the proposal for a parallel runway, the land earmarked for it has been de-notified, said the official.

‘Blow to city connectivity’

AAI sources, however, conceded the city had been deprived of its air connectivity with the AAI dropping the proposal for the parallel runway.

Creating such a facility would have improved air connectivity to Chennai, said an official. The existing runway can handle 35 flights (landings and take-offs) per hour, at the most.

The secondary runway cannot be utilised as proposed due to reduction of threshold, the official said.