Consultant appointed for tunnel project at airport

Facility will connect integrated and satellite terminals

May 27, 2019 01:06 am | Updated 01:06 am IST - Chennai

A consultant has finally been appointed to examine a proposal to construct a tunnel inside Chennai airport.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said Singapore-based Meinhardt Group had been given the contract for the work. “The consultant is likely to take about six months to provide suggestions and recommendations,” said an official.

This tunnel will link the satellite terminal — which will be located near the remote bays — with the new integrated terminal, which is under construction. There will be two tunnels, one for transporting passengers and the other for moving baggage from the new integrated terminal to the satellite terminal.

“Soon after the consultant finishes the feasibility study, a new contractor will be appointed for building the tunnel and the satellite terminal,” an AAI official said. “It will be quite a challenge to build it in a fully functional airport, but we can take it up in parts and finish the construction. For a start, the consultant will first do soil tests to identify the right location for the tunnel. The satellite terminal will be compact and a small one with basic facilities for passengers,” the official said.

The Chennai airport is already going through phase II modernisation work, as part of which a new integrated terminal is being built and many other airside expansion works are simultaneously taking place.

Besides, there is a plan to have a satellite terminal and a tunnel in the airport because the State government has still not finalised a plan for the second airport for the city and the existing terminals are choked at peak hours, owing to growing passenger and air traffic.

By the time the new integrated terminal too gets saturated in the coming years, the satellite terminal would be ready to ease the congestion.

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