S. Anil Radhakrishnan
AAI to commission Rs.45-lakh facilities next week
One more X-ray machine to be installedTwo more airline counters to be set up to avoid rush
Thiruvananthapuram: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will commission next week the Rs.45-lakh passenger facilities in the domestic terminal of the international airport to cater to the heavy movement of travellers in the domestic sector.
An additional 300 square metres of space is being made available by the AAI on the city side and airside in addition to the existing 4,465 square metres in the domestic terminal. Under this project, 240 square metres on the right side of the canopy of the domestic terminal was annexed to the terminal building to make available more space for the domestic passengers.
Air-conditioners have been provided for the comfort of the passengers and tiles have been laid on the floor. The X-ray machine now placed inside the building would be shifted outside so that the domestic passengers can screen their baggage and proceed straight to the terminal.
Two more airline counters would be set up inside the building to avoid rush. With this, the number of airline counters in the domestic terminal would go up to eight. Conveyor belts would be extended to all counters.
On the airside, the authorities have extended the security-hold area by 60 square metres to accommodate more passengers. Two toilets and a ramp have been created for the benefit of senior citizens and the physically challenged. In addition, an additional door has also been set up so that the passengers can enter the coaches that take them to the aircraft without any rush.
Airport Director K. Natarajan told The Hindu that the additional facilities being set up by AAI at a cost of Rs.45 lakh would be thrown open by the weekend.
The heavy movement of domestic passengers forced us to provide more facilities in the domestic terminal, he said.
The AAI would place more chairs in the security hold area for the benefit of checked-in passengers. One more X-ray machine would soon be installed for screening the baggage in the domestic terminal, he said.
As per the latest traffic figures, Mr. Natarajan said the increase in domestic aircraft movement through the airport was an astounding 225 per cent. The movement of domestic aircraft alone had gone up from 284 in January 2006 to 924 in January this year. "This had prompted us to provide more facilities for the passengers in the domestic terminal," he said.