India's Chennai International Airport will soon start the second phase of renovation at a cost of INR23bn ($346m) to help increase passenger and aircraft transits.
Undertaken by the Airports Authority of India, the project has been deferred for the past three years due to the airport's privatisation plan. It will now be completed in the next three years, reported The Hindu.
The government recently decided to suspend the privatisation plan and take up the development works on its own. The first phase of upgrade cost the airport more than INR 2.5bn ($376m).
A decision on privatisation may be taken after the completion of the second phase.
On completion, the fully renovated airport will be able to handle an annual capacity of around 23 million passengers from the current capacity of 14 million.
Chennai airport director Deepak Shastri said: : "We lost nearly three years due to the privatisation plan of the airport. We need to catch up. Work is expected to start in six months.
The upgrade includes expansion of the airport's domestic and international terminals, construction of infrastructural facilities such as solar panels, as well as construction of multi-level car parking.
A tube will be constructed to connect the airport to metro rail on the city side. A common user cargo terminal will also be part of the renovation. The airport will remain functional throughout the construction period.
"We want to increase the aircraft movement from 29 per hour to 40 and then, the passenger capacity to 30 million," Shastri added.
The airport will soon appoint a global consultant to prepare the design for the works, including development of the old terminal, and will also consult various stakeholders.
Image: Chennai airport will soon start phase two upgrade project. Photo courtesy of User:Tshrinivasan.