Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the new integrated Terminal 2 of Chennai Airport on Saturday, 8 April.
“The addition of this new integrated terminal building will increase the passenger serving capacity of the airport from 23 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) to 30 MPPA. The new terminal is a striking reflection of the local Tamil culture, incorporating traditional features such as the Kolam, saree, temples, and other elements that highlight the natural surroundings,” the government said.
The new terminal building spanning an area of 2,20,972 sq m is set to cater to the growing air traffic in the state of Tamil Nadu, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a tweet.
The annual passenger handling capacity of Chennai airport is 35 million passengers and the new terminal will improve the air travel experience for all passengers, the ministry added.
The facility was developed at an estimated cost of ₹1,260 crore.
Ahead of the inauguration Ministry of Civil Aviation shared stunning images of the airport on Twitter.
The new integrated terminal building at #ChennaiAirport, spanning an area of 2,20,972 sqm., is set to cater to the growing air traffic in the state of Tamil Nadu. It’s also a reflection of the govt.’s commitment to providing high-quality infrastructure to travellers. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/3UMtjpGi8v
— MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI) April 5, 2023
The columns are designed to create the visual effect of a palm tree, ceilings are adorned with motif lights, reflecting the Kolam (Rangoli) patterns of South India, and the roof design is derived from Bharatnatyam, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.
“The wavy roofing of NITB (new integrated terminal building) replicates the pleated costume that fans out attractively during dancer movements of traditional dance form of the state Bharatnatyam,” it added.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and Chief Minister MK Stalin among others were present.
The false ceiling resembles the folds of a saree while the entrances replicate the Dravidian architecture seen in about 38,615 temples scattered across the state.
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The Prime Minister also took to Twitter and called the new Terminal 2 of Chennai Airport an important addition to the city’s infrastructure.
“This will be an important addition to Chennai’s infrastructure. It will boost connectivity and also benefit the local economy,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
This will be an important addition to Chennai’s infrastructure. It will boost connectivity and also benefit the local economy. https://t.co/lWMBMmvvRU
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 6, 2023
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A golden touch
The stainless steel champagne strips on pillars and columns give the terminal a golden touch.
“The new terminal building features dazzling, grandiose pillars and columns finished with stainless steel champagne strips. The golden finish adds opulence and magnificence to the overall design,” the Chennai airport tweeted early this year.
The Skylight, a highlight of the terminal, harvests natural light to illuminate the space indoors, cutting down power consumption. It will also make the terminal airier.
The new terminal will increase the airport’s passenger serving capacity to 30-35 million passengers per annum from 23 million. The arrival and departure points will have 54 immigration counters each to facilitate faster transit procedures.
The terminal also boasts of 11 automatic tray retrieval systems for carry-on luggage and 33 remote boarding gates. These gates will ensure smoother security screenings.
The new terminal also has self-luggage drop facilities. Passengers could scan the boarding pass to drop off their luggage, which will expedite the check-in formalities.
Tamil Nadu’s second Vande Bharat Express
Modi, scheduled to arrive in Chennai at 2.30 pm, will inaugurate the terminal, before flagging off the Vande Bharat Express train. Later, he will attend the 125th anniversary of the Sri Ramakrishna Math at Mylapore. He will also launch several development projects at Alstom Cricket Ground in Pallavaram.
The eight-coach semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express will cover the 495.28 kilometres between Chennai and Coimbatore in 6 hours and 10 minutes. The train, which can accommodate 530 passengers, will halt at Tiruppur, Erode, and Salem.
It will ply on all days, except Wednesdays, at an average speed of 80.31 kmph.
The Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat will be the second such train (Train 18) for Tamil Nadu. Modi inaugurated Chennai-Mysuru Vande Bharat — South India’s first — on 11 November.
Meanwhile, Chennai is under a five-tier security blanket ahead of the premier’s visit. Vehicular traffic has been diverted at several places.
Prime Minister Modi is in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka on 8 and 9 April to launch various development projects, and lay the foundation stone for the redevelopment of the Secunderabad Railway Station.
He will also flag off the Secunderabad-Tirupati Vande Bharat Express train.
(With PTI inputs)