Airports Authority of India (AAI) has given in-principle approval for extension of runway of Madurai airport with an underpass for road traffic on Ring Road, said its Executive Director (Engineering – Southern Region) Sanjeev Jindal.
After inspecting on-going civil works at Madurai airport, Mr. Jindal said the proposal to have an underpass, which was earlier rejected by the AAI, was under consideration again. “We have a similar underpass in Delhi and it has been considered for Mysuru airport also,” he said. Probably, it was rejected earlier for Madurai airport due to high construction cost. “In the present situation, it seems economical and convenient, though few approvals needed to be got from Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Environment,” he said.
“Probably, then it was thought that there was no need to spend huge money. Now, we feel Madurai airport has got good potential and the investment could be earned back,” he said.
While the underpass would be constructed by the State government and other works would be taken up by the AAI. Extension of the runway for 1.2 km would help in handling wide-bodied aircraft, he added. The cost is likely to be around ₹800 crore.
Mr. Jindal said a new Air Traffic Control Tower-cum-Technical block would come up at a cost of ₹100 crore. The work was likely to be taken up soon and would be completed in one year. “The present ATC tower was designed for fewer movements of aircraft. The new tower will be able to handle more aircraft. The controllers can have three dimensional view from the tower and it will have all advanced air navigational equipment. It will improve safety and capacity of the airport,” he added.
The AAI is also planning to increase the capacity of the terminal building. It will increase the present peak hour capacity from 700 passengers to 2,600 passengers. The work would be taken up by September at a cost of ₹300.
The terminal building area would be increased three-fold. “As per the masterplan, we will have three terminal buildings,” Mr. Jindal said.
The Airport has recently increased the aircraft parking facility to seven with two helipads.
Madurai airport was generating 750 KVA solar power whereas its usage was only 1,000 KVA. “We propose to increase the solar power plant capacity to 3.5 MW,” he said.
General Manager (Electrical) Prem Prasad and General Manager (Civil) A. S. Mahesha and Airport Director S. Senthil Valavan were present.