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Tiruchi airport to get new apron

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has proposed to construct a new apron at the international airport here amid steep rise in overseas passenger traffic movements.

Preliminary works connected with the proposed construction that would help in accommodating additional flights has already begun.

Ahead of the construction, soil investigation test which is in progress is expected to be completed soon.

The AAI has engaged a technical team from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, to conduct the soil investigation test at a cost of Rs. 12 lakh.

The proposed new apron would be bigger than the existing one, airport sources told The Hindu .

The sources said the new apron would be able to accommodate 10 aircraft at a time, while the existing apron accommodates seven aircraft. The distance between the existing apron and the proposed new one would be about 180 metres.

The fast growing Tiruchi international airport witnesses over 100 international flight movements every week with introduction of services to different overseas destinations in the last few years.

International carriers operate twin-engine A-320 and Boeing 737 type flights at present, while smaller ATR-type flights are operated in the Tiruchi – Chennai – Tiruchi sector.

A senior official said soil investigation test was on the verge of completion adding that the task of conducting topographical survey would be entrusted with an eligible agency.

The corporate headquarters of the AAI has provided the designs and drawings for the new apron which would come up at a cost of around Rs. 90 crore, a senior official said.

There could be some revision in the design and estimate based on the soil investigation report, the official added.

The AAI has a composite plan to put in place, a new apron, parallel taxiway, connecting taxiway, taxi link and an isolation bay at the Tiruchi airport which handled over 13 lakh passengers during the 2016-17 financial year- majority of whom were international travellers.

The construction of a new apron was required in the wake of AAI clearance and sanction of funds for the construction of a new international passenger terminal building adjoining the existing one.

However, the two projects are to be done separately, said the sources.

Tenders for the construction of the new apron were expected to be floated next year and the project would be completed within one year from the time of date of award of the contract, the official said.

Sources said the AAI would spend over Rs. 750 crore alone for the construction of a two-level international passenger terminal building which would be five times the size of the existing structure.


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