CHENNAI: The mystery over the location of Chennai’s second airport ended on Monday with Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh announcing Parandur near Sriperumbudur has been finalised as the site for development of the greenfield airport.
The minister’s announcement was unexpected as State Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu and Industries Secretary S Krishnan, after meeting Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on July 26, had said Chief Minister M K Stalin would be revealing the location. Singh was responding to a question raised by DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi NVN Somu.
It is learnt that Tamil Nadu had informed the Union government it was willing to have the airport at Parandur, one of the two shortlisted sites. Asked why Pannur, the other site, was not considered, a top government official said both the sites were equally suitable but Parandur is closer to the Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway by about 7-8 km. The official added that the government will operate both airports. “The Chennai Airport will continue to operate,” he said.
The location of the second airport has been a mystery for over a decade after a 2007 proposal by the then DMK government for a greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur over 4,000 acres failed to take off.
Parandur, which is 60 km from the Chennai Airport, was shortlisted as a possible site for the second airport by the previous AIADMK government in 2020. Though it was reported that the site would be finalised after a pre-feasibility report, the decision was put off due to the pandemic. According to sources, the tender for the techno-feasibility study was later terminated.
However, since the DMK came to power last year, there has been a significant push to finalise the site. The government considered Parandur, Pannur, Thiruporur, and Padalam as options. In March this year, Scindia announced that Parandur and Pannur had been shortlisted.
In June, the Union minister said the airport was likely to come up with an investment of Rs 40,000 crore and it would be cleared shortly, with the TN government to submit its choice of the two sites on June 17. The recent development on the new airport also comes as the Chennai Airport looks at the other side of Adyar River for its expansion.
Was CM supposed to announce?
Minister Thangam Thenarasu and Industries Secretary S Krishnan, after meeting Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on July 26, had said CM M K Stalin would be revealing the location