Mr. Ansari said the airport was the premier international gateway and air hub for South India, besides being the third biggest airport in the country

Vice-President Hamid Ansari dedicated the new domestic and international terminals at the Chennai airport to the nation here on Thursday.

Speaking after inaugurating the terminals, Mr. Ansari said the airport was the premier international gateway and air hub for South India, besides being the third biggest airport in the country. The importance of Chennai as a national and international destination was well established.

It attained more importance in view of the country’s ‘Look East’ policy because of which greater economic and commercial integration with the countries of East Asia and South East Asia was taking place at a rapid pace.

Consequently, passenger and freight traffic to and from these countries was bound to rise.

The existing terminals had a capacity to handle six million domestic and three million international passengers. With the expansion, the new international and domestic terminals could handle an additional four million international and 10 million domestic passengers per annum.

Ajit Singh, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, said the two terminals and the airside facilities were upgraded at the airport. Governor K. Rosiah said the airport would not only promote international tourism, but would also attract business opportunities.

CM boycotts function

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa boycotted the inauguration of the new terminals at the Chennai airport on Thursday.

In a statement here, she said she was not participating in the inauguration as the Centre had not responded to her request that it be named after former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran.

However, as per the protocol, the Chief Minister received Mr. Ansari.

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