Chennai International Airport

Chennai International Airport
Chennai International Airport
சென்னை பன்னாட்டு வானூர்தி நிலையம்
The Chennai Airport undergoing development work
MAA is located in India
Location of airport in India
Airport type Public
Owner Government of India
Operator Airports Authority of India
Serves Chennai Metropolitan Area
Location Tirusulam, Chennai (Madras)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 52 ft / 16 m
Coordinates 12°58′56″N 80°9′49″E / 12.98222°N 80.16361°E / 12.98222; 80.16361Coordinates: 12°58′56″N 80°9′49″E / 12.98222°N 80.16361°E / 12.98222; 80.16361
Direction Length Surface
ft m
07/25 12,001 3,658 Asphalt
12/30 6,708 2,045 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (Apr '10-Mar '11)
Passenger movements 12,049,679
Airfreight movements in tonnes 249,523
Aircraft movements 124,100
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Chennai International Airport (IATA: MAAICAO: VOMM) (Tamil: சென்னை பன்னாட்டு வானூர்தி நிலையம் ), formerly known as Madras International Airport is located in Tirusulam, 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Chennai (Madras), India. For the financial year 2010-11, it was the third busiest airport in India in terms of both international and overall passenger traffic,[3] which is expected to double after March 2012 when its ongoing expansion will be completed[4] and aircraft movements increase from 27 to 50 flights per hour.[5]

It is located along Meenambakkam and Tirusulam with passenger entry at Tirusulam and cargo entry at Meenambakkam. The International terminal is named after Former Late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Annadurai. The domestic terminal is named after another former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj. It was built on land donated by former governor of Madras Presidency, L. Sriramulu Naidu.



The old terminal(1945) at Meenambakkam

Madras (Chennai) had one of the first airports in India and was the final destination of Air India's first flight from Bombay (Mumbai) via Belgaum in 1954. The first passenger terminal was built at the northeast side of the airfield, which lies in the suburb of Meenambakkam due to which it was referred to as Meenambakkam Airport. A new terminal complex was subsequently built at Tirusulam, further south near Pallavaram to which, passenger operations were shifted. The old terminal building is now used as a cargo terminal and is the base for the Indian courier company Blue Dart.


Chennai Airport at night

Chennai International Airport consists of three terminals: The old terminal at Meenambakkam is used for cargo, while the new passenger terminal complex at Tirusulam is used for passenger operations. The passenger terminal complex consists of the domestic and international terminals interconnected by a link building, which houses administrative offices and a restaurant. Although the complex is one continuous structure, it was built incrementally, with the Kamaraj and Anna terminals being added in 1988 to the pre-existing Meenambakkam terminal.

The first part to be built was the international terminal which had two aerobridges (jetways), followed by the domestic terminal with three aerobridges. After the completion of the domestic terminal, the old terminal at Meenambakkam was used exclusively for cargo. Recently the international terminal was extended further south by adding a new block which includes three aerobridges. At present, the new international block is used for departures while the older building is used for arrivals.

The international and the domestic terminals cover an area of 1.5 km2 and 1.8 km2, respectively. The airport is divided into two circles, with five zones each, for administrative conveniences.[6]

Modernisation and expansion

The Chennai Airport has been slated for modernisation and expansion. The works are to be carried out by the Airports Authority of India and include the creation of a parallel runway, taxiways, aprons and new passenger terminal buildings. The expansion works will involve the acquisition of land in nearby areas. The expansion of the existing airport would be taken up at Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Gerugambakkam and Tharapakkam in Sriperumbudur taluk after a resolution to this effect was adopted by the government. The cabinet has handed over 1069.99 acres for the overall expansion. This includes 233.01 acres from Manapakkam, 394.91 acres from Kolapakkam, 360.84 acres from Kerukampakkam and 81.20 acres from Tharapakkam.

The government would provide suitable compensation to 947 households in these areas and also rehabilitation to them.[citation needed] The rehabilitation of the households would be done in the first phase of the expansion work itself.

The modernisation and restructuring is expected to cost around Indian Rupee symbol.svg 2,350 crore, of which the cost of construction of the runway, taxiway and apron would be around Indian Rupee symbol.svg 1,100 crore, while the cost of construction of the terminal building, cargo building, car park and face uplift would be Indian Rupee symbol.svg 1,250 crore.[citation needed]

As part of the plan to expand the current airport, 126.59 acres of land for second runway was formally handed over to Airports Authority of India (AAI) to start with. As per the modernisation plan, the secondary runway will be built over the Adyar river by means of a bridge. The second runway will be extended by 1,400 meters length to 3445 meters and will extend across Adyar river. A bridge will be built over the river to accommodate the runway and a taxiway. This makes Chennai Airport, the only international airport in India to have a runway across the river[citation needed]. In Mumbai, only an end of the runway is over Mithi river. The secondary runway extension will cost around Indian Rupee symbol.svg 430 crore and will be completed in 2010[citation needed].[7]

The proposed Chennai Metro Rail Project will connect the Chennai International Airport to various parts of the City. Tentatively, the project is programmed for completion in the financial year 2013-2014.[8]

Proposed new passenger terminals

Baggage pickup area at the airport

The current development projects include construction of a new domestic terminal and expansion of the current International terminal. The design is a collaborative effort of four firms. While George Hargreaves Associates has done the landscape design Gensler and Frederic Schwartz Architects are responsible for the design of the passengers terminal buildings, parking garage structures and access roadway access system. The Creative Group would be the local architects for the project. The proposed design will be connected with the existing terminal design elements. It was earlier reported that the new terminal buildings will have a handling capacity of 10 million passengers and when integrated with existing terminals will provide for a handling capacity of 23 million passengers a year. The new terminal buildings are expected to have an area of about 1,40,000 m². with 104 check-in counters, 16 aerobridge and 60 immigration counters and the two runways would be interconnected by a network of taxiways. The Terminal complex will have a Flyover Travelator connecting the Domestic Terminal and International Terminal for a distance of about 1 km. It will have an elevated road on the top and a tube below which will have two Walkalators[9]

The design details of the runways are handled by the Airports Authority of India, while architecture firms are limited to designing buildings on the land side of the runway. The present proposal is parallel to the existing runway. The entire design as being organised around “two lush sustainable gardens” and the wing-like roofs helps collect rainwater and become part of the garden.[10]

Proposed new integrated cargo complex

An integrated cargo complex will be built in the cargo complex of the Chennai International Airport. The complex would be constructed, at a cost of Indian Rupee symbol.svg 145 crore, in 15 months. While the ground floor would measure 21,000 square metres, the first floor would be built on 12,100 square metres. The new building would be used exclusively for import activities. Once the civil works were completed, the Automatic Storage and Retrieval System would be installed. It would cost Indian Rupee symbol.svg 75 crore.[11]

New Greenfield Airport

There is a current plan of setting up of a new greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur and Tiruvallur taluks, apart from the expansion of the existing airport at Tirusulam. The greenfield airport would come up on 4,200 acres (17 km2) of land. As of now, only soil testing at the proposed location for the project has been carried out.[12]

The existing airport is being expanded at a cost of Indian Rupee symbol.svg 3,000 crore and if the proposed new airport becomes a reality, the existing airport has to be shut down. Since the Airports Authority of India has already invested this huge amount in the expansion of the existing airport, the Central and the state governments are preparing to shelve this project. There is no confirmed news on the expansion or the Greenfield Airport.

The feasibility report of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which has suggested that a second airport for the city could come up on 5,000 acres at Sriperumbudur, was submitted to the State government. “The State government has to decide whether to have a second airport or to create a parallel runway at the existing airport,” he said.[13]

Terminals, airlines and destinations

An Air Mauritius Boeing 767-300ER seen from the viewing gallery
Ramp view
Jade Cargo 747-400F takes off from Chennai Airport
Three 747s at Chennai Cargo Terminal. Also the New domestic terminal under construction is visible.
Two MD-11Fs of World Airways Cargo and Lufthansa Cargo at Chennai Airport.

Scheduled airlines

Domestic flights operate from the Kamaraj Terminal, while the Anna Terminal is for international flights. The old terminal at Meenambakkam is used for Cargo Operations.

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Arabia Sharjah Anna
Air Asia Kuala Lumpur Anna
Air India Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Madurai, Mumbai, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam Kamaraj
Air India Ahmedabad, Colombo, Delhi, Dubai, Goa, Hyderabad, Kuwait, Singapore, Muscat Anna
Air India Express Abu Dhabi, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirapalli Anna
Air India Regional Agatti, Bangalore Kamaraj
Air Mauritius Mauritius Anna
British Airways London-Heathrow Anna
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Anna
Emirates Dubai Anna
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Anna
Gulf Air Bahrain Anna
IndiGo Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram Kamaraj
Jet Airways Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Visakhapatnam Kamaraj
Jet Airways Brussels, Colombo, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, New York-JFK, Singapore Anna
JetLite Coimbatore, Kolkata Kamaraj
Kingfisher Airlines Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Khajuraho, Kochi, Kozhikode, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Mysore, Port Blair, Pune, Rajahmundry, Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram, Tuticorin, Varanasi, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam Kamaraj
Kingfisher Airlines Colombo Anna
Kuwait Airways Kuwait Anna
Lufthansa Frankfurt Anna
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur Anna
Oman Air Muscat Anna
Qatar Airways Doha Anna
Saudi Arabian Airlines Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh Anna
SilkAir Singapore Anna
Singapore Airlines Singapore Anna
SpiceJet Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Tuticorin (Begins 1st December), Visakhapatnam Kamaraj
SpiceJet Colombo Anna
Sri Lankan Airlines Colombo Anna
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Anna
Tiger Airways Singapore Anna

Cargo Terminal

Airlines Destinations
Air India Cargo Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai
Blue Dart Aviation Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai
British Airways World Cargo
operated by Global Supply Systems
Hong Kong, London-Stansted
Cathay Pacific Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Manchester, Mumbai[14][15][16]
DHL Express Worldwide
Emirates Sky Cargo Dubai-International, Hong Kong
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa[17]
Etihad Crystal Cargo Abu Dhabi, Colombo, Shanghai-Pudong[18]
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong
Jade Cargo International Amsterdam, Dubai-International, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong
Kingfisher Xpress Ahmedabad
Korean Air Cargo Bangkok, Chengdu, Seoul-Incheon
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah
Martinair Cargo 1 Amsterdam, Bahrain, Dubai -Al Maktoum, Hong Kong, Sharjah
Midex Airlines Al Ain
Neptune Air Kuala Lumpur[19]
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Sharjah, Singapore[20]
Southern Air Hong Kong [21]
Thai Airways Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi
Uni-Top Airlines Wuhan[22]

^1 Martinair Cargo in addition to their own fleet also use KLM Cargo aircraft to MAA, which are in full KL Cargo livery, this is not to be mistaken as KL Cargo service.

MRO hangar facility

Airlines that have hangar facilities at Chennai airport:

Transport links

The airport is situated on the busy Grand Southern Trunk Road (National Highway 45) and is also served by the airport station (Tirusulam) on the Suburban railway network. Airport prepaid taxis are available round the clock, with moderate fares fixed by the government. The proposed Metro Rail System will also connect the airport with other important places in Chennai.

Incidents and accidents

  • On 5 March 1999, an ex-UTA Boeing 747-2B3F (SCD) freighter (registration F-GPAN) carrying a revenue load of 66 tons of cargo on flight 6745 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Madras Meenambakkam, India, via Karachi, Pakistan and Bangalore HAL Airport, India, crash-landed, caught fire and burned out. Meenambakkam ATC had cleared the aircraft for an ILS approach to the airport's runway 07. The crew abandoned the approach due to technical difficulties. The aircraft circled to attempt a second approach. At the end of the second approach, the aircraft's nose struck the runway while touching down because its nose gear was either not down or not locked. The plane skidded and came to rest 7,000 feet (2,100 m) down the 13,050 ft (3,980 m). runway. After it had come to a standstill, the crew noticed smoke on the flight deck and began to extinguish the flames. Soon after, flames erupted in the aircraft's front section. One crew member managed to escape from the flight deck via a rope ladder. The remaining four crew members were rescued by the airport fire service from the rear, before the flames engulfed the entire aircraft. The fire service was unable to extinguish the fire and the aircraft burned out.[23]
  • In August 1984, a bomb blast 1,200 meters from the airport killed 33 persons and injured 27 others.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Airport information for VOMM at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for MAA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^ AAI traffic figures 2009-2011
  4. ^ New-look Chennai airport may be ready by March
  5. ^ Part of second runway to open soon
  6. ^ Aedes aegypti survey of Chennai Port/Airport, India
  7. ^ Chennai Airport to have runway across Adyar river
  8. ^ Chennai Metro Rail System to connect International Airport
  9. ^ Chennai airport to get a ‘Flyover Travelator’
  10. ^ Proposed New Chennai Airport - Plan
  11. ^ Proposed New Chennai Airport Cargo Complex - Plan
  12. ^ "Soil testing carried out for proposed new airport". The Hindu. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  13. ^ The Hindu : States / Tamil Nadu : State government has to decide on second airport for Chennai: AAI
  14. ^ Cathay Pacific destinations
  15. ^ Cathay Pacific launches freighter services
  16. ^ afaqs! > News > Company Briefs > Cathay Pacific launches freighter services from Chennai to Frankfurt
  17. ^ "Ethiopian Cargo Schedules (Effective 1 May 2011 – 29 October 2011)". Ethiopian Airlines. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Etihad Airways destinations
  19. ^ Photos: Boeing 737-3S3F Aircraft Pictures |
  20. ^ Welcome to SIA Cargo - eTimeTable
  21. ^ Global Reach– Southern Air
  22. ^ Uni-Top freighter schedules
  23. ^ ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-2B3F (SCD) F-GPAN Chennai Airport (MAA)
  24. ^ Eelam Army chief held for Chennai blast, The Indian Express News Service, 8 February 1998

External links

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