Chennai all set to get its second airport

Proposed new terminal for chennai airport

While news like these always pops up the question of ‘when’, if and when it does happen, it will mark a new era of development of the city. According to a report on livemint, the union government has approved the 4000 acre site in Sriperumbudur, which the state government had recommended a few months back.In addition to this, the present airport is also to be upgraded at a cost of 2000 crores.

aerial view of chennai international airport anna international terminal and kamaraj domestic terminal

What is so unique about this announcement is that, in all probability, Chennai will have two full fledged international airports as soon as 2020, making it the only city in the country whith such an arrangement. Although plans for a new airport at Navi Mumbai exist, things havent progressed much in the last 10 years, while Chennai got the approval from the centre in under 4 months of identifying the site.

The city’s fortunes seem to be good. The present airport, claimed to be one of the better ones in India and also the first in the country to get ISO9001 certification, is quite spacious and still hasnt reached its handling capacity. In addition, the airport has excellent transportation links, lying on NH45, on of the busiest highways in Tamil Nadu and it also has its own suburban railway station at Tirusulam which lies on a trunk railway line, something that is unmatched by any other city in India. With plans of a new terminal and a parallel runway on the cards, its clear that no one’s writing the present airport off.

The new airport at Sriperumbudur, would be at the heart of Chennai’s new industrial belt, already famous for its Hyundai and Nokia exports. An hours drive from the city, and lying on the golden quadrilateral towards Bangalore, an airport here is just what could give a huge boost to production at the various manufacturing units in the area like Orgadam and Maramalai Nagar,  and also pave the way for a satellite township, something much needed for Chennai.

I was just kidding with the graphic at the top 😛

This is the approved design for the new domestic terminal at Chennai Airport.

New domestic terminal at chennai

inside the new terminal

About planemad

28 responses to “Chennai all set to get its second airport”

  1. rajat singhal says :

    after the airlinesit is the turn of airport operators to go bust. Huge capex and ability to expand should be considered before starting the second airport projects

  2. Navaneethan Santhanam says :

    Why is the area ‘infamous’ for Hyundai’s & Nokia’s exports?

  3. Suraksha says :

    whew! design looks sexed-out!

  4. planemad says :

    eh sorry, i meant famous 😛

  5. Vyaas says :

    The roar of jet planes interrupting college lectures….the thought is invigorating!

  6. Vyaas says :

    too bad it’ll be ready only by 2020….

  7. planemad says :

    yeah :P. but our college is on some real prime land. all that slush could be worth a lot of money in 5 years time

  8. MRVC says :

    I am one of the resident affected by current chennai airport expansion PARALLEL runway proposal. There are 100’s of families affected by this proposal, as our residential colony is falling in the proposed runway path.

    But the article published in which you referred above, talks only about extending the CROSS runway.

    I have also read your posts in, where you & some bunch of people were discussing about the new design for the terminals.

    It would helpful, if you could post some update on the runway being finalized(CROSS or PARALLEL) in skyscraper forum or kindly send email to

  9. planemad says :

    hi mrvc,
    the secondary runway is being extended and upgraded for full operations and work was underway a few months back itself, not sure about the current status but should take at least a year. The parallel runway may not be coming due to obstruction of the adyar river and plans for a new airport.

  10. MRVC says :

    Thanks Planemad.

    Please post the images(if you have) of the newly proposed runway and terminal designs in the Skyscraper discussion forum(

  11. planemad says :

    the terminal renderings have already been posted there. i do i have pics of work on the secondary runway, but thats about a year old now.

  12. Prakash says :

    A new airport would be a welcome addition even if it comes by 2035 (i always add 15+ years to the year of completion committed by Govt) MRTS is the shining example of execution gone wrong. 23 years to complete 20 odd kms. Considering our exemplary record in not finishing projects on time, i am pretty sure taking in to account factors such as govt change, delay before commencement, delay during execution, Court stay, Completion delay, Innauguration delay and other possible delays. This project will complete in 2035 only.

  13. 2 airports in one place while no airport for 300km? says :

    I fail to understand why Tamilnadu government does not think about other areas. Hosur has great potential. With the new Bangalore airport far away western TN will benifit greatly from developing a airport in Hosur. Same prospects with an airport in Vellore (Abdullapuram).
    Also Salem airport built at 15 crores has never seen flights.
    There are also underutilized airports in Tamilnadu – Salem, Tuticorin.
    It is probable this ‘second airport’ in Chennai is a scam. Passengers in western and southern Tamilnadu go out-of-state to take flights.
    Perhaps Tamilnadu policians could learn some lesson from Kerala’s aviation infrastructure. This second airport in Chennai city will not contribute in reducing airfares to Tamilnadu which is steady losing a lot of its traffic to Kerala with airfare differences of Rs. 2000-3000.
    Best option is to evenly develop Tamilnadu’s airports.

  14. planemad says :

    Its not true that the govt is neglecting the other airports, infact they are all being modernised and expanded, and old airstrips like tuticorin and pondicherry have been revitalised.

    There is talk of the second airport in chennai only because, the current one cannot be expanded beyond a certain limit, so obviously you need to plan for the future

  15. 2 airports in one place while no airport for 300km? says :

    Dear Planemad,

    Kerala being a smaller state has 4 airports, 2 new international airports are being developed. There are FAR FAR more flights to the Gulf from Kerala and to all their 4 airports than Tamilnadu.

    There are flights from Sri Lanka to 3 of their cities.

    There are more cities served to Singapore to Kerala than Tamilnadu.

    Kerala has defeated Tamilnadu in terms of air-traffic because in TN the boundary ends with Madras.

    The fact that Coimbatore passengers and also passengers from the southern TN districts of Thirunelveli, Kizhakkarai, Kanniyakumari fly out Cochin and Calicut is also indication. The big factor is the Rs 3000 ‘surcharge’ for flying out of Tamilnadu (excl cost of the trip to Madras or Trichy).

    Another proof our TN politians short sightedness is the marketing of Hosur SEZ.
    As per ELCOT website, Hosur is drawn with a picture of an airport; then it is described as “only 45km from Bangalore airport” then ELCOT boasts about the ‘features’ of Bangalore airport, Karnataka. In today’s reality the road trip from Hosur to Bangalore is about 3 hours. There are enough representation of Tamils in the Gulf, Singapore and elsewhere that warrants an aiports in western TN (Krishnagiri, Hosur, Dharmapuri and Salem district) and also count Hosur industrial activity. Also Hosur already has an airstrip maintained by TAAL (which the politians in Chennai can’t see).

    Kerala will have in total 6 Gateways while TN just 1 or 2.

  16. 2 airports in one place while no airport for 300km? says :

    New Bangalore airports is over 100km from Hosur and not 45km as per ELCOT site.

  17. care6power says :

    who say india not devoloped

  18. Prashanth says :

    I heard construction starts in September….

  19. planemad says :

    like everything else, they always say…
    still no news about the metro 😦

  20. victor abedel says :

    In my veiw it is important more airports in one city take example in London 1.Heathrow terminal 1 heathrow terminal 2 heathrow terminal 3 heathrow terminal 4 heathrow terminal5 2. Gatwick International airport 3Stanstead airport 4.Luton airport 5 City airport chennai is in more backward in the airports case please do not stop the developments in the name of adivising like we spoiling Sethu Samudhra projcts in the name of relegion.
    After opening of Suez canal how development is fast in Egypt and Gibralter and many .
    China is now super power but we are still backward because sentiments and the reliegions (MOODANAMBIKKAI)

  21. Senthil Durai says :

    No one question it is bad for 2 airports in one city.

    But there are large area down south Tamilnadu which do not have a single airport.

    Every 3 – 4 months there is letter that states that Tuticorin airport does not even have an ATM!!!!

    There has been letters in both English and Tamil newspapers in this regard particular the sorry state of Tuticorin airport and request to open Salem airport. No interest is shown!

    May be the whole Salem airport project was a scam by itself. 20 crores spent but no single flight.

    Kerala has become the gateway for the south with 6 international airports by 2012. Tamilnadu will have 4 idle airports even then.

  22. a n says :

    Kerala, Andhra and Karnataka have plan for their own regional airlines while Tamilnadu so far no plans been made in this regard.

    Tamilnadu should first see if these existing airline are serving the state properly. ATF reduction can be made, but first step of Tamil announcement should be done. DMK manifesto in this regard was a bogus for votes.

  23. DMK AIRPORT SCAM says :



    From The Hindu Feb 1 2008

    ‘Make Salem airport functional’

    Special Correspondent

    SALEM: The newly-formed Salem Air Flight, Rail and Surface Transport Users Association has said that it will move court if the Salem airport was not made functional at the earliest.

    The project has been remaining idle for the last 15 years. It is an enormous waste of a public utility, said the association president, K. Mariappan, at a meeting held here on Monday. Citizens of Salem and those in the industry have donated Rs. 60 lakh to buy 130 acres and handed over the same to the Union Government for the construction of the airport.

    Despite the best efforts by Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam, K. V. Thankgabalu, MP, among others the airport had been remaining inactive for the last 15 years. This was painful for those who took the initiative to establish the airport, said S. Sundaresan, its general secretary.

  24. salem lover says :

    im dying to see the news regarding salem airport..when they will activate…hope the present MP Semmalai will do it for salem ppls…..

  25. anandamurthy says :


    Can you pl forcast the real estate value around
    thiruvallur in case the second international airport
    comes up in sriperambadur.


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