Chennai

Chennai airport’s international arrival hall becomes departure hall, may open in March

A view of the Chennai Airport’s international departure terminal

A view of the Chennai Airport’s international departure terminal   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Facilities have been made for two airlines to use this new hall as a departure hall, officials said

After repeated delays over the last five years, the arrival hall of the international terminal at Chennai airport may be put to use by mid-March. The only change is that the arrival hall has been converted into a departure hall now, and facilities have been made for two airlines to use this hall as a departure hall, sources said.

When the phase I modernisation of Chennai airport was completed in 2013, this arrival hall alone could not be opened as there were not adequate customs and immigration staff to shift the arrival operations from the old hall to the new one.

Since then, Airports Authorities of India (AAI) has made several attempts to open the hall but could not. Finally, it was decided to convert it into a departure hall to reduce congestion and use it in some way, sources said. The AAI had held talks with another airline but there was no further development.

Now, AAI officials have held discussions with two airlines who are prepared to use the hall for a few flights. “We have already made arrangements for additional check-in, security and immigration counters. We have held a few rounds of discussions with the two airlines and they have agreed to begin operations from March. A few issues have to be resolved and that should be done too, in the coming weeks,” an official said.

The existing international arrival hall has over 50 check in counters and about 20 immigration counters. Everyday, lakhs of passengers travel through it and the congestion has exacerbated recently. As a result, passengers wait endlessly for both security and immigration, officials said.

When the phase II modernisation is over, congestion will be reduced for passengers as there would be more space and better amenities, officials said.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:07:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-airports-international-arrival-hall-becomes-departure-hall-may-open-in-march/article30887695.ece

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