Passengers Furious as Low Voltage Delays 10 International Flights at Chennai Airport
CHENNAI: Low voltage isn’t just a household issue. It can bring entire establishments to their knees, which is precisely what happened at the International terminal of the Chennai airport, a little before midnight on Sunday. At 11.35 pm, main line power supply took a beating and the entire terminal was hit with voltage fluctuation, which in turn took down every single system in the building — from the much-hyped in-line baggage scanning system to basic toilet lighting. The low voltage lasted for over five hours and as many as 10 international long haul flights were delayed in the process.
E Prashanth, who was slated to fly to Bangkok had been in the airport since 10.30 pm, described it thus, “The escalators were not working. A few were moving slowly but the guards advised against using them. The automatic baggage scanning system was not working, so we had to lug our bags to the security check-in and do a manual check. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any international terminal like this in my life.”
Possibly the biggest hang-up of these rather premature Monday morning blues (as it lasted well into the wee hours), was that the luggage conveyor belts went dead. “Passengers had to take it directly from the loaders, who hauled it from the basement level to the carousel. The delays were very long and long lines of passengers were waiting for their luggage,” said a source inside the international terminal. When last contacted, AAI officials said that the baggage conveyors were functioning at almost normal, but with a few glitches.
An Airports Authority of India spokesperson explained that the voltage had been an after-effect of maintenance work from the TNEB whose sub-station in Meenambakkam feeds the airport’s rather large appetite for electricity.