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AAI: Chennai airport expansion to double capacity

AAI: Chennai airport expansion to double capacity

Chennai airport’s expansion project comprises domestic and international terminal buildings, elevated corridor and allied works including consultancy, also extension of runway and construction of bridge over Adyar river, which would cost Rs 2,015 crore (inclusive of Rs 470 crore for extension of the runway and construction of the bridge over the river).

The proposed domestic integrated terminal building is a three-level structure under construction on an area of 67,700 sq m, with a provision for seven gates, and two hardstand hold rooms, 52 check-in counters excluding eight counters for e-ticketing, 18/10 immigration/custom counters for arrival passengers, 18/4 immigration/custom counters for departure passengers.

The capacity of the new terminal will be 10 million passengers per annum (pa), while it will actually cater to four million. After completion of two new terminal buildings, the capacity of Chennai Airport will be 23 million passengers pa, out of which 16 million will be domestic and seven million will be international. Peak hour passenger capacity will be 3,300 for domestic and 2,300 for the international terminal. The elevated road (flyover) connecting the international and domestic terminal buildings is about 1 km in length and has a width of 34 m, and some other utility services as well.

Technology to meet future demand: In order to meet the traffic growth in both domestic and international, the existing length 2,205 m of the secondary runway has been extended to 1,030 m, including a 200 m bridge over the Adyar river and the construction of parallel taxi tracks and parking bays. The bridge is first-of-its-kind in India and will cater to A-380 aircrafts. It is designed with a 20×10 m grid, 477 piers and 2,410 pre-stressed and pre-cast ‘I’ girders. To minimise the time for stressing the strands, a multiple jack system using a yoke beam had been designed through which all the 47 strands were stressed after removal of slackness in them. Steam curing technology was adopted to cast girders and special launching arrangement was made at the erection stage for a length of 60 m which could place three girders in a row.


The new domestic and international terminals will be elegant modern structures defined by dramatic, twin wing-like hovering roofs providing 300 m long, column free space. Unlike any other airport in the world, lush gardens are visible throughout the terminal creating a unique dialogue between engineering and nature, interior and exterior spaces.

The building’s open web steel superstructure subtly rises to support twin-curved roofs that define a light and open, column-free terminal and shade expansive glass curtain walls. Skylights highlight the geometry of the trusses, further defining the structural framework to allow natural light to create a constantly changing pattern of shade and shadow.

The organisation of the terminal is straightforward and efficient. The building volume is divided into the landside and airside programmed operations and spaces connected with a central security check point for departure as well as two glass bridges on either side of the building for arriving passengers. Both terminals are equipped with a sophisticated in-line baggage handling system, capable of Level 4 security screening system, with five departure conveyors including rejected baggage conveyor, four arrival carousels in domestic and three in international. The conveyor can handle 1,200 bags per hour. PAVA, Security Surveillance, CCTV covering the terminal building and conveyor, fire detection and alarm, VESDA and BMS are also proposed.


Energy efficiency is achieved by use of latest technologies like variable frequency drives for motors, HVAC chiller load management through micro processor controls, lux sensors in lighting controls, energy efficient CFL and T5 lamps in illumination and building management system for optimum utilisation of energy. Other features include water efficient landscaping, rainwater harvesting, water efficient fixtures, use of treated gray water for air conditioning cooling system, innovative effluent treatment plant for waste water for re-use. The various elements of energy conservation and water management would make the building eligible for a Green Building rating.


Circulation is organised so that departing and arriving passengers never mingle at any point in the terminal. There will be two Walkalators each of 1 m width. It is also proposed to connect the metro station by a connection link tube to the main glass tube. A metro rail station has been proposed in the premises, with parking spaces for metro and airport users.

Progress report:

• Terminal building is 65 per cent with PDC being 30 September 2011.
• Runway work is almost complete and merging of the runway and taxiway with the bridge is underway.
• Bridge work is 85 per cent with PDC being 28 February 2011

VP Agarwal, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI).

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