Chennai: The International Airport is gearing up to increase the number of aerobridges in order to handle multiple wide – body aircrafts at the same time. Currently, there are four aerobridges at the international terminal. Meanwhile, the construction of another aerobridge is progressing. This will be ready for operation by March this year. The airport would have nine aerobridges that can handle Code E type aircrafts by 2025 when the phase two terminal gets completed.
Aerobridge or Passenger Boarding Bridge (PBB) is an enclosed and movable passageway that extends from an airport terminal gate to an aircraft allowing passengers to board or disembark the airplane directly. The aerobridges that are currently under construction suits modern long-haul flights like A350 and B777. The Ministry of Aviation said that the number of long-distance flights could be increased when the airport is able to handle up to nine international flights at the same time.
How will it affect the Greenfield Airport?
Complains are rife that the authorities aren’t keen to increase the number of services at the airport that is situated in the city where the scope for infrastructure development is sparse, as a greater number of aerobridges and modern facilities could be easily arranged at the proposed Greenfield airport project in Parandur. Many wide body long – haul flights operate from other Greenfield airports in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The fact that the Chennai International Airport comes under the brownfield category, where there isn’t much scope for development, could be a disadvantage.
Lack of facilities
There had been reports about the limitations at the Chennai International Airport to handle wide body long – haul international flights due to insufficient number of aerobridges and taxiways. Many international airline companies are reportedly gearing up to switch their services to airports at Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Even though there are thirteen aerobridges at Chennai Airport, only four are equipped to handle wide body aircrafts. Many prominent international airlines use Code E type aircrafts that are wide bodied. The expenses of the airline companies would skyrocket if there aren’t enough facilities or aerobridges at the airports to handle multiple international services and wide-bodied domestic flights at the same time.
Now, the aircrafts are parked far away from the terminal building and passengers and luggage are transported in specially arranged vehicles. Passengers often complain that this delays the immigration and other procedures before exiting the airport.