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New airport for Chennai at Parandur: How long will it take?

The plan for a second Chennai international airport has been hanging fire for over two decades. Finally, it has been approved and the airport will come up in Parandur, the Centre made an announcement early last week. Now the ball is in CM Stalin's court!

Take a look at Yogi Adityanath's Jewar project: The Noida International Airport in Jewar in UP, 72 km away, likewise, is being built mainly to decongest the Delhi IGI airport. The foundation stone was laid on November 25, 2021 and the land acquisition for the project was completed in record time, by July 2022. The testing of the airport would begin in March 2024 and it would be ready for use by October 2024, it has been officially stated! Will Stalin take a leaf out of Yogi's book and fast track the Parandur green airport, and complete the project well within his current term! For that he needs to dump the legions of 'British clerks' and embrace technology, whatever it entails.

CHENNAI, Aug 8: Chennai international airport will have a second airport at Parandur. The proposed airport is approximately 57 km west from the existing Chennai airport at Meenambakkam in the city. West of Sriperumbudur, north of Kanchipuram and south of Arakkonam, 15 to 30 km from each, the Parandur international airport will have its entry from the highway to Bengaluru.

Aviation experts say the swanky new greenfield airport being planned will be more suitable for the navigation of wide-bodied international flights. It will have two parallel runways facilitating simultaneous takeoffs, and will become operational by 2030.

The architects could draw models from the twin airports of Delhi (Delhi and Jewar airports), Mumbai (Mumbai and Navi Mumbai airports) and Goa (Dabolim and Mopa airports). The Government is contemplating a huge aero city with facilities for maintenance and repairs.

The Meenambakkam airport of Chennai handles around 400 flights and almost 40,000 passengers per day (2.2 crore passengers per year). The new airport will have an annual capacity of 10 crore passengers. With no chance for expansion of its runway or facilities, the present airport is expected to reach saturation soon (3.5 crore passengers per year). Thus the second airport has become a necessity, according to infrastructure experts.

While the existing Chennai airport is spread across 1,317 acres, the new airport at Parandur is planned to be built on 4,971 acres, mostly open agricultural and wet lands, comprising five villages.

Chief Minister MK Stalin has said the new greenfield airport will cost Rs 20,000 crore and will have two runways. Stalin said land acquisition will begin as soon as the Ministry of Civil Aviation gives the final ‘Site Clearance.’ The State has to decide what model it prefers, like Navi Mumbai or Jewar, or Bengaluru and Hyderabad greenfield airports.

Pannur and Parandur

The Tamil Nadu Government had identified four locations for the development of a greenfield airport near Chennai and the Airports Authority of India had found Pannur and Parandur among them as feasible. Subsequently, the State Government, after a viability study, selected Parandur. Thereafter the Centre made the announcement in Parliament that the second airport will come up in Parandur.

The State Government is now required to submit the final proposal with details to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) for the grant of ‘site clearance’.

Parandur is located in Kanchipuram district. It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to reach there from the existing airport in the city at Meenambakkam by road. The public is raising a question as to how to speedily commute to the new airport from the city. A high speed train service or extension of the Metro is being mooted so that one can travel between the airports in half an hour.

The new greenfield airport at Parandur and the existing airport at Meenambakkam will function simultaneously, the Chief Minister said a press statement. The Parandur airport will have two runways, taxiways, apron, cargo and various other facilities.

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