Drawing Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh’s attention to long queues at security checkpoints at the Chennai International Airport (MAA), Lok Sabha MP Dayanidhi Maran, in a letter, asked him to expedite work at the upcoming integrated terminal to ease passenger congestion.
Maran said “I would like to bring you to the attention the terrible passenger congestion at the Chennai airport and how many passengers are suffering because of the long periods they have to wait during the security checks in both domestic and international terminals. Every day nearly 40,000 passengers travel through the airport and most of them are made to wait long hours, especially during peak hours.”
Maran further said that most of the passengers have taken to social media in the past and claimed visuals of serpentine queues at the airport have become common. “AAI authorities say the terminal capacity is saturated and they are helpless until the long pending Phase II modernisation work is completed and the new integrated terminal is functional. I request you to kindly look into this matter and expedite the work for the sake of passenger convenience and to ease up the congestion at both terminals,” Maran added.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, an airport official said they haven’t received any information from the ministry over Maran’s letter and said the authorities are trying their best to control the congestion at the airport.
“The capacity constraint is there because of the modernization work. The development is split into two phases and it is taking place at both International and domestic terminal. The first phase will be completed by the end of this year and the second one will be completed most probably by 2023. There are days where you get bulk booking and there will be minimum flyers, on such days there will be long queues, which is beyond our control. We deploy queue managers on all 12 security counters and try to make the process uncomplicated. Last month, there was a security alert for 12 days. So in that unusual situation, frisking was more stringent and hence it took more time for passengers to cross over the security check. But these things happen for a maximum of one hour or so, we try to improve the condition as quickly as possible,” he said.
Chennai-based techie Kavin Prasanna, who is a frequent flyer, said privatisation of the airport might improve conditions. “Even passengers who reach the airport early are subjected to this hurdle. It’s the same at both terminals; you need to wait for a long time to get over the security check. You cannot afford to take a break or even have a coffee, you will end up waiting in the queue for a long time. These things make all the passengers wonder whether privatisation of airports will improve the conditions,” he said.
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