The new domestic terminal at Chennai airport saw its first set of passengers on Thursday afternoon, as part of a trial run before its commissioning next week.
At 12.50 p.m., over 90 passengers who arrived from Port Blair on a GoAir flight, walked into the new arrival hall straight from the airplane, via the newly-installed aerobridges.
Most of the passengers were quite surprised to find themselves at the swanky new terminal. Anima Das, who arrived for treatment at a hospital here said, “The journey was quite comfortable. After we disembarked, I used the lift to get to the ground floor.”
Some of those who had come to pick up passengers were also taken by surprise, as they continued to wait near the old arrival hall.
The trial run was conducted to give every airline an opportunity to get familiar with the facilities at the new terminal, said an Airports Authority of India official.
“On Friday, two SpiceJet flights will arrive from Delhi and Port Blair and will use the new terminal. Similarly, Jet Airways and Indian Airlines will be given opportunities on March 23 and March 25 respectively,” he said.
For weeks now, the arrival hall of the new domestic terminal has been plagued by a problem with a baggage ramp as battery-operated tractors were not able to transfer baggage from the basement to the ground level. The ramp was later modified.
Airport director, H.S. Suresh said, “All the problems relating to the ramp has been resolved.” Departures from the new domestic terminal may still take a while as more work needs to be done before shifting operations from the old terminal can begin, officials said.