CHENNAI: With the management planning to introduce a new system of aircraft management and optimisation of tarmac space usage, delivery of check-in baggages is likely to become more efficient. Airports Authority of India sources say they are planning to launch a new Multiple Apron Ramp System (MARS), which is likely to upgrade the parking space.
The spurt in the number of flights operating to small towns from Chennai as made the new system necessary. Now, more aircraft of domestic operators can be parked in the main apron during day time. This will ensure that baggage delivery becomes faster, and, thereby, regulating passenger traffic.
The new system will be fully implemented after strengthening the connecting taxiway. It’s likely to take around two months. The airport officials have already obtained necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities for the change. Most major international airports already have implemented the MARS.
“MARS has been configured in remote parking stands of the international apron, with an intention of accommodating more aircraft of domestic operators, especially during peak hours of domestic traffic, when operation of wide-bodied aircraft is limited,” say sources.
“So, now, three of the wide-bodied parking stands at the remote apron (43-45) have been configured to accommodate five narrow-bodied planes, such as an A-320, which is highly used in the domestic sector.”
During the night time, however, when the movement of wide-bodied aircraft is higher, the above-mentioned parking stand will be utilised to park them. The move comes amid measures by the Chennai Airport to boost its operational capacity, by constructing rapid taxiways and taxi tracks to cut down the waiting time for take-off clearance.
Currently, there are only 34 apron bays located in front of New Integrated Terminal Buildings (NITB), and they will be converted into Multiple Apron Ramp System (MARS). Since there is no land available for expanding the apron bays in front of terminal buildings, authorities have identified remote bays, used for parking smaller aircraft, to meet the shortfall of 25 bays.
The hitch, however, is the accessibility to these remote bays. So, the Airports Authority of India is planning an underground tunnel for speedy passenger accessibility.