Meenambakkam airport terminal to be razed

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Chennai: Chennai's over 70-year-old Meenambakkam airport will soon be demolished. A British legacy going back to the 1930s, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which has not been able to maintain it, will construct an additional freight bay to accommodate more cargo from the city. 
 
Currently, the building is used for housing CISF personnel and a few cargo aviation offices. The passenger terminals were moved out of the old airport in 1985 after then chief minister M. G. Ramachandran decided to build new buildings after the bomb blast at Meenambakkam International Airport in August 1984. 
 
The Air Traffic Control office and the offices of the International Airports Authority of India and regional executive director were also moved out in 2002. “There is a shortage of parking space for freighter aircraft. So, we are planning to raze the dilapidated old terminal and a few other buildings to construct a freighter bay,” said AAI chairman V. P. Agrawal. 
 
He added that the proposal present in the master plan would take some time to materialise as buildings belonging to a few stakeholders, like Air India and the postal department, needed to be re-located.
 
Chennai airport GM (cargo) B. K. Mehrotra pointed out that apart from the creation of one more freighter bay, AAI will also develop more Air Freight Stations in the catchment areas like Sriperumbudur. 
Talking about AAI’s future plans, he said the creation of a pharma zone with fully temperature-controlled facilities and setting up of an integrated cargo village were also on the anvil.

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