CM to announce site for Chennai’s second airport

The Centre is willing to go with the site chosen by the State government

Updated - July 27, 2022 02:08 am IST

Published - July 27, 2022 12:32 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu and Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on July 26, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@JM_Scindia

Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu and Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on July 26, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@JM_Scindia

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin will soon announce the site for Chennai’s second airport. On Tuesday, Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu and Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia held detailed discussions on the location for the second airport among various other issues. 

Mr. Thennarasu said, “The meeting went on very well. We explained in detail about both the proposed sites — Pannur and Parandur — and the Union Minister has said he would be fine with whichever location the Tamil Nadu government zeroes in on. We will brief Chief Minister M.K. Stalin about the discussions and he will make a formal announcement on the final location,” he said. Another government source said the location had already been decided, but the Chief Minister would make the announcement.

They also discussed a proposal for an airport at Karur; Mr. Scindia reportedly said the Centre would consider the proposal. “We will also examine this from our end. There is ample land available in Karur,” Mr. Thennarasu said

The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility (MRO) for Chennai would be a priority as part of the Chennai airport expansion plans, Mr. Thennarasu said. “Salem Airport was another point of discussion and we spoke about resuming operations here and about how to expand this airport. We want to expand all airports to ensure that bigger flights can land,” he added.

They also discussed the location for a flying school and Salem was suggested as a potential location. Talks were also held on night-landing facilities in Madurai and Thoothukudi. The Centre had said it would provide support in terms of land acquisition, Mr. Thennarasu said. 

Early this year, the State government had asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to do a pre-feasibility report for four sites near the city — Pannur, Parandur, Tiruporur and Padalam. Based on the inspection and after the aspects of terminals, runways and other airside facilities were considered, Pannur in Tiruvallur district and Parandur in Kancheepuram were shortlisted. The recommendations of AAI officials were then handed over to the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation and the State government. In both sites, over 4,500 acres of land has been identified. According to the pre-feasibility report done by AAI officials, while the site at Pannur is situated 44 km southwest of the Chennai airport, the location at Parandur is also southwest of the Chennai airport, over 59 km, further west. “The proposed sites are huge and measuring over 4,500 acres. We have measured the distance from various locations in the city, including the existing airport, to these sites, keeping a reference point. A detailed study will provide us with finer aspects and it will be done later,” an official said.

Since the passenger traffic has been rapidly increasing in many airports across the country, including Chennai, and making a good recovery after the pandemic-induced restrictions were removed, the city airport has been struggling to handle the congestion.

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