‘Inaccessible’ new terminal at Tiruchy international airport adds to passengers’ woes

Earlier, airport director P Subramani had assured arrangements would be made to operate a city bus for the convenience of passengers to reach the terminal buildings.
Passengers are forced to walk one kilometre from the new terminal building due
to lack of transport facilities at the airport
Passengers are forced to walk one kilometre from the new terminal building due to lack of transport facilities at the airport PHOTO | MK ASHOK KUMAR

TIRUCHY: The integrated terminal building (ITB) at the international airport here, which was commissioned into use on June 11, still lacks proper access due to non-availability of city buses or battery-operated vehicles. As a result, passengers are forced to walk one kilometre from the entry point to ITB and vice-versa.

Earlier, airport director P Subramani had assured arrangements would be made to operate a city bus for the convenience of passengers to reach the terminal buildings. Subsequently, talks were held with TNSTC officials in the city. However, no progress has been attained in that front, complain passengers.

A Venkatraman, who arrived at the Tiruchy airport from Chennai, had no option but to walk one kilometre from the terminal building to the main road to board a bus to Namakkal on Sunday. "This is my first time travelling to Tiruchy. When I enquired about a cab, the driver demanded Rs 700 to reach the central bus stand. So, I waited for an auto. Since no auto arrived, I started walking," he said. "It would be better if they operate either a bus or battery-operated vehicles, similar to those at the railway junction," he added.

Rajkumar, another passenger, has appealed to airport authorities to arrange a TNSTC shuttle bus service between the main road and the terminal building.

Another visitor Mohan Pillai, in a social media post, sought an auto service. "Tiruchy is a small town and all domestic flight passengers are from nearby areas. Not everyone wants to take a taxi to the airport," he said. However, P Kalyan, a native of Perambalur who accompanied his cousin bound for Singapore. told TNIE that auto drivers charge Rs 250 to Rs 300 just to shuttle passengers between the one-km stretch.

He suggested that the fare would likely be more affordable if the airport authorities operated battery-operated cars instead. An auto driver who did not wish to be named told TNIE that they are compelled to charge high fares as airport officials collect Rs 80 as an access fee for each trip.

Attempts to contact the airport director to ascertain if there were any developments in this regard went in vain. However, airport sources said that autos are temporarily allowed to transport passengers to the terminal building.

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