The Union ministry has granted environmental clearance for the ₹381 crore expansion of Tuticorin airport. The project includes, extension of runway with blast pad, runway safety area, taxiway, apron, ground support equipment area, isolation bay and a new domestic terminal building.
The expert appraisal committee of the ministry in its meeting on May 27-28 through video conferencing recommended granting environmental clearance to the project subject to certain conditions.
“A detailed traffic management and traffic decongestion plan should be drawn up to ensure that the current level of service of the roads within five km radius of the project is maintained and improved upon after the implementation of the project,” the committee said. The construction of a centralised airconditioned domestic terminal building in an area of 10,800sqm shall handle 600 passengers during peak hours with all modern facilities and amenities. There used to be six flights a day in pre-Covid days. The existing airport has 76.31ha of land, the state government has handed over 243.2ha of additional land free from all encumbrances for the proposed development. “On completion of the expansion, the runway will be 3,115m long and 45m wide, this will be sufficient to handle A 321 type aircraft. The new terminal building will be completed in 24 months from commencement of work.” The runway expansion work will commence on obtaining the environmental clearance and from the directorate general of civil aviation, he said.
CII Tuticorin chairman Michael Motha hoped that expansion would help get direct connectivity to Chennai, Bengaluru, Cochin, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. The airport director said work will be completed by September 30.