Passengers may have to wait for a long duration to retrieve their baggage in the new international terminal of the Chennai airport.
Airport sources said the international terminal, which was commissioned recently, has just one baggage ramp, unlike the domestic terminal which has two ramps that facilitate two-way movement of passengers’ baggage.
Hence, the movement of the battery-operated vehicles, which carry the baggage to and from the aircraft, on the ramp is expected to be slow.
Only the departure operations are on at the new international terminal now and the arrival hall is likely to start operating in December, said officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
“We are able to manage now since the departure hall alone is functional; hence, the load handled is relatively less,” an official said.
“When the arrival hall also becomes operational, there may be congestion in the ramp area as the departure and arrival baggage load would be simultaneously handled.” When there is overcrowding in the ramp area, passengers may have to wait to receive their baggage, he added.
“It does not stop with congestion alone; there could be safety issues — as there was at the new domestic terminal — if the officials do not take measures to deal with this problem,” said AAI official.
Airline officials earlier told The Hindu that on the steep ramp of the new domestic terminal, the trolleys of battery-operated vehicles had gotten unhooked from the vehicle and some workers had suffered minor injuries. The steepness of the ramp cannot be rectified, said airport sources.
The officials of Creative Group who designed the new terminals said they could provide for only one ramp in the new international terminal due to lack of space.
“As far as the domestic terminal is concerned, we have taken safety measures including the placement of CCTV cameras. We will take steps to ensure there is no compromise on safety in the new international terminal too,” said another AAI official.