Air passengers using the domestic terminal at Chennai airport during peak hours may find it easier to travel from October when crowding and bottleneck are likely to reduce. The airport will have two functional domestic terminals and this may reduce the congestion and queues for passengers, particularly those taking flights in the early morning rush hours.
This move comes following the opening of a part of the new integrated terminal (T2) to which the international flight operations have shifted in July. While the existing domestic terminal (T1) will operate as usual, the international terminal (T4) that was handling international flights till a few months ago will turn into the second domestic terminal.
Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said the work to modify the T4 terminal had been under way and it would be over in a couple of weeks. “The immigration counters are being removed now. Three conveyor belts are being moved to the T4 terminal. Then, we just need to make a few more alterations and carry out extensive cleaning work before it can be opened. Operating two domestic terminals will significantly increase the capacity of the airport to handle more passengers,” an official said.
Airlines, including IndiGo, SpiceJet and Akasa, will use the T1 terminal while Air India, Air Asia and Vistara will shift to the T4 terminal, the officials said. Sources said it was important that the signage are clearly placed in all strategic points, including the entry and exit and the service roads of the airport so that passengers know which airlines operated from T1 and T4 terminals. Though officials planned to operate two domestic terminals from July, the plan is likely to become a reality only next month.
The arrival hall of the T4 terminal will become operational a decade after its inauguration.