Chennai Madras (MAA) Airport
Chennai Madras MAA Airport Overview
The Airport is still owned by the Government of India and is operated by Airports Authority of India (whose sparse Airport site has not been updated since 2010) - even though privatization efforts have been going on for ages and is not likely to happen - according to recent reliable sources.
Chennai Airport is located on Grand Southern Trunk Road (National Hwy 45), in the town of Tirusulam, and is only 7 km south of the city of Chennai (formerly known as Madras).
With over 13M passengers served anually, and a second runway under construction, Chennai Airport is hub to Air India, Blue Dart Aviation, Jet Airways & Spicejet, and is served by domestic and international airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all points of the globe.
The new Chennai Airport's passenger terminal complex now encompasses an expanded & upgraded international terminal (Anna Terminal), and a brand-new domestic terminal (Kamarash Terminal) - both opened separately in 2013, and are interconnected by a link building housing administrative offices and a restaurant. An elevated travelator connects international & domestic terminals, which are 1 kilometer apart - but are all now under one roof.
The domestic terminal handles about 4.7 million passengers a year, with 48 check-in counters. Its boarding gates are on two levels - six on the ground level, three of level 1.
The International Anna Terminal has 45 check-in, 38 immigration, & 18 customs counters. On level 1 are six boarding gates. Gradually more amenities & services will be added.
Currently there is still no international arrivals hall - passengers need to exit through the arrivals section of the old Anna International Terminal (AIT). It may have been decided meanwhile to remove the partition between the old domestic arrivals & the international arrivals hall currently being used, and relocating certain facilities.
Amenities and services at both domestic & international terminals: Aside from food & drink, retail & duty-free shops, you find banking facilities, conference rooms, lounges, medical & health scan facilities, free trolleys, vending machines, tourist and railway information counters, a City coach center, and special ADA assistance. Day rooms & dormitory-style accommodations are available for transit passengers.
Air India has its lounge in the international terminal (showers available);
Jet Airways offers (a) the Taj Flight of Fancy and JetAirways Premiere in the domestic terminal; and (b) the Clipper Lounge and Royal Lounge in the international terminal.
NOTE: In spite of the massive investments made to upgrade the Airport - within three months ending October 2014 - Chennai was quoted as being the 'worst airport of Asia' - and during this period it went from being the fourth worst to the tenth worst airport. Even after the Minister of Civil Aviation's visit, not much change has come of it! News from early April 2015 quote the Airport as being in a 'deplorable condition' and that within the past two years 39 accidents have happened - among them two incidents where glass doors fell down injuring persons. The Government is now considering privatizing the Airport - however late June 2015 the deadline for interested parties to put in bids has been again postposed to August 1(this also applies to Kolkata, Japur & Ahmedabad airports). Meanwhile ' investments in Chennai airport have been put on hold due to the on-going privatisation plan'.
Present and future Airport developments:
1. The Metro is to cover 45 km by year-end 2015; its first phase (involved two routes and included underground & elevated areas) is now operational and connects Chennai Airport to parts of northern Chennai & city center - eventually to include 7 routes.
2. As of August 2015, privatization plans for the Airport have now been postponed and instead, the Airports Authority of India decided to soon appoint a global consultant to prepare the design for the long-deferred Phase 2 renovation work - intended to increase aircraft movement from 29 to 40 an hour and the passenger capacity to 30M annually. Phase 2 includes the expansion of both terminals, infra-structural facilities (including solar panels), and a multi-level carpark. There will be a connector (tube or tunnel) to the metro rail on the city side. Completion is tentatively set for 2018.
3. In Sept. 2015 it was reported that the Government agreed to integrate both Domestic & International terminals into one terminal.