CHENNAI: Passengers at the only airport in Chennai were in for a shock on Thursday morning when the flight announcement system did not display the departure and arrival details in Tamil, the local language. However, Tamil made a quick comeback on the system after air passengers protested condemning the move and demanding restoration of the language.
Sources in the airport said the electronic display boards placed at various spots in the international and domestic arrivals and departure and waiting areas have been showing flight details in English language only. “At 6 am, the electronic boards repeatedly displayed announcements only in English language. The airport officials advertently omitted Tamil and Hindi from the display,” a passenger said.
Infuriated by the alleged ‘deliberate’ action of officials, a few passengers and relatives who had come to send-off passengers indulged in heated argument with the airport staff and security personnel. They also demanded inclusion of Tamil language on the board.
Meanwhile, some passengers gathered to stage a protest outside the airport and the situation became serious when some auto drivers joined them. "Even those who don't read or write English travel on planes. How could villagers understand the English-only announcements?" an irked passenger asked.
The fuming passengers called off their protests after an officer spoke to them and promised necessary actions to restore Tamil.
Following this, Tamil and Hindi languages were restored on the board after nearly 4 hours at 10 am.
Meanwhile, the passengers pointed out that Mumbai and Delhi airports, which are handling more traffic than Chennai airport has been using regional languages. “If the officials feel displaying three languages delaying the announcements, they should use separate boards for English. This move will help local passengers as well as foreigners,” one of the passengers said