The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received the centre’s approval for preparing the environmental impact study and has been asked to conduct a public hearing, for its proposed Rs 2,587-crore second phase of modernisation of the Chennai airport.
AAI had completed the first phase of the project four years back. Now, it has proposed to start the second phase.
The proposal involves reconstruction of old terminals (T2 and T3), development of multi-level car parks, an integrated common user cargo complex and augmentation of contact bays, among others.
“An expert appraisal committee (EAC) under the union environment ministry, examined the AAI’s proposal recently and gave its approval for the terms of reference (ToRs),” a senior government official said. ToRs are guidelines for conducting environmental impact studies of projects, based on which the ministry grants or rejects clearance to a project.
The Authority has been informed that the EIA should specifically address vehicular traffic management, as well as estimation of vehicular parking area. The passenger capacity after modernisation of the Chennai airport, which is located in an area of 1,301.28 acres, would increase to 30 million passengers per annum, from the existing 14 million.
“While approving ToRs for the project, the EAC asked the AAI to conduct a public hearing and incorporate all details in the environment impact assessment/environment management plan (EIA-EMP) reports,” the official said. It has also been asked to submit the draft EIA-EMP reports to the state’s Pollution Control Board for public hearing, the official added.