‘Inadequate’ amenities at Rs 1,120-crore new terminal in Tiruchy airport irks visitors

Airport authorities should provide for the amenities at the earliest.
Visitors making do with available spaces at the new terminal in Tiruchy international airport to rest while waiting for the arrival of their loved ones
Visitors making do with available spaces at the new terminal in Tiruchy international airport to rest while waiting for the arrival of their loved ones(Photo | M K Ashok Kumar)

TIRUCHY: The integrated terminal building at the international airport here, which was inaugurated by the prime minister in January this year and commissioned into use last week, seems to have failed to take into account the convenience of visitors as they complain of a lack of adequate amenities like seating and toilets outside where they say they sometimes have to wait for even an hour to receive or bid farewell to their loved ones.

S Mubarak, a native of Pattukottai in Thanjavur who was waiting at the airport to receive his relative who landed from the Gulf via Colombo, claimed it was only after several representations that a canopy was provided at the old terminal itself to safeguard visitors from the elements. The same approach seems to prevail at the new terminal, which was built at a cost of Rs 1,120 crore, as well, he said.

"Compared to the canopy at the old terminal, the new one has enough space and built-in seating arrangements under a solid roof. The elderly and the women would feel more comfortable with separate seating arrangements. Anyone waiting here to receive their relatives has to wait at least an hour," he added. Another visitor, B Kailash of Tiruchy, said that there are several necessities like potable water supply, chairs, toilets and refreshments provided for passengers that need to be extended to visitors as well. Airport authorities should provide for the amenities at the earliest.

The existing toilets are located far from the terminal. Also only two small water coolers are provided at the far end. The peak-hour passenger handling capacity of the terminal is 3,480. The visitors’ footfall would double then. The authorities should hence provide for at least some facilities based on the visitors’ footfall, he added.

When contacted, Airport Director P Subramani told TNIE, "There are no separate chairs provided in the arrival area for visitors. There, however, are in-built seating arrangements. We have provided chairs in the departure area. Two coolers have also been placed in the arrival area. Further, there is a refreshment outlet at the arrival section. A food court and additional refreshment kiosks will set up at the departure area in a week. Everything will be rectified soon."

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