• Chennai airport records 12% growth in passenger traffic

    Chennai airport achieved a 12 per cent growth in passenger traffic and a 9 per cent increase in cargo handling during 2015-16 despite the ‘devastating’ effect on its operations due to floods in December, said Chennai Airport Director Deepak Shastri.

    In 2015-16, the airport handled 15.3 million passengers as against 13.7 million in the previous year. Cargo handling was 200,000 tonne as against 184,000 tonne in the previous year. “We exceeded the target for the fiscal set by the Aviation ministry,” he told Business Line.

    Last December. the airport was flooded with water from the Adyar River that passes under the second runway. The airport, which witnesses over 350 flight movements every day, had to be shut down for four days from the night of December 2.

    The flooding had a devastating effect with the airport cancelling 66 arrivals and 53 departures late on December 2 and early December 3. On December 8, the airport was fully operational.

    Secondary runway

    On the secondary runway getting approval for 24-hour operations, Shastri said it would increase aircraft movement to 35 per hour from the present 29 moves per hour. It started operations in May 2014 but has so far handled operations only during daytime.

    Shastri said the airport needs additional 14-16 acres to have more space to handle wide-body aircraft. At present, the runway can handle A320 type aircraft. Anthony Duclair Womens Jersey

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