CHENNAI: The Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, R N Choubey, on Sunday said the Union government was waiting for a response from the State government on the proposal to set up the second airport in the city.
Speaking to reporters at the Meenambakkam airport, Choubey said the Ministry of Civil Aviation was awaiting inputs from the State government. “We have requested the government to find the land and location for the second airport. Once they submit the details, further action will be taken,” he said.
Indicating that the second airport for the city was inordinately delayed as the State government was yet to to finalise the location, the Civil Aviation Secretary said the ministry was keen to start the construction as early as possible.
He said after Salem, the ministry was planning to introduce flight services to Hosur, Neyveli, Thanjavur and Vellore.“Flight services from Hosur would be launched soon. We are hopeful of introducing services from Neyveli, Thanjavur and Vellore, before this year-end,” he added.
With the Meenambakkam airport having reached the point of saturation, the State government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had in 2010 proposed to set up green airport in Sriperumbudur. However, the proposal was later dropped owing to the higher land value.After repeated discussions between the State government and the AAI, December 31 last year was fixed as deadline to finalise the location for setting up the second airport, which was estimated to cost Rs 2,100 crore. But even though it has been nearly three months since the deadline passed, the AAI is yet to be informed about the choice of the State government.
The proposed second airport is a greenfield facility and the government is planning to develop an Aerocity around it, Choubey added.A few months ago, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that efforts were on to acquire 1,000 to 2,000 acres of land to develop a world-class greenfield Aerocity. The peak capacity of 23 million passengers of Chennai airport is expected to fall short of the rising demand in 2020-21, triggering the need for an additional airport in the region.