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Chennai airport will reach saturation by FY21

Deccan Chronicle| J.V. Siva Prasanna Kumar

Published on: October 17, 2017 | Updated on: October 17, 2017

At present, there are around 480 aircraft in the country with a total of 880 planes on order.

Chennai airport

Chennai airport

Chennai: Chennai airport, with a current capacity of 20 million passengers per year, will reach saturation point in FY21 and Tiruchy and Madurai airports would join the airports of Jammu, Pune, Kozhikode, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram in reaching saturation by this fiscal itself.

Perhaps, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju was right when, while on a visit to Chennai on Sunday, he reminded the authorities that Chennai airport is in dire need for expansion to meet the growing requirement of passengers.

"Parking bays and runway slots will become increasingly scarce over the next few years, especially at metro airports. Signs of congestion are already emerging in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi and the situation will become more acute unless airports are able to construct 400 parking bays and enhance airside capacity within five years. Otherwise airlines will face challenges in implementing their base and network plans," said a report by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), a Sydney-based aviation think-tank.

In March, India became the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world, overtaking Japan and the country’s domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US (719 million) and China (436 million).
India is poised to become the third largest buyer of commercial passenger planes in the world, after US and China. Orders for aircrafts by airlines in India are set to touch the 1,080 mark. Of the expected 1,080 aircraft, over 700 are scheduled for delivery within the next decade, and 400 within the next five years. This excludes orders yet to be placed and equipment to be taken on lease. At present, there are around 480 aircraft in the country with a total of 880 planes on order.

Airports need $45bn to improve capacity by 2030
India needs to invest up to $45 billion to create an additional capacity of handling 500- 600 million passengers at its airports by 2030 as their capacity is likely to saturate within the next five years, a study by CAPA said.

Airports in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata will reach their maximum capacity in the next one to five years, between 2019 and 2022, assuming passenger growth rate is 10 per cent per annum. Also, 10 airports: Pune, Jaipur, Srinagar, Lucknow, Dehradun, Agartala, Guwahati, Kozhikode, Mangalore, and Tiruchy, managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), are already operating "beyond their design capacity."

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