Right Off the bat, Trichy airport expansion is not delayed. In fact, it is going on as planned. But the AAI has expressed concerns that the expansion work on 17 of the 35 airports targetted for expanded runways are not going according to the plan. This is mainly because of the lack of land availability from State Govt to do the work. The only airport included in this list that is in TN is pondicherry.

The work on these projects was scheduled to start from April this year but the lackadaisical approach of the state governments was delaying the work,” an AAI official said .

Why these expansions are important now more than ever. Because the changing fleet mix in the airline sector.

“These airports have short runways and are not safe during heavy downpour,” ICPA general secretary Vikram Yadav said. “Earlier we had mid-sized aircraft landing at and taking off from these airports, but now Airbus and Boeing aircraft too operate from these airports. So it becomes necessary to expand the runways,” Yadav added.

So what is different here when compared to all the other “plans” that get delayed in India.

The regional airlines, which were planning to launch services to new destinations, put their plans on hold, thanks to the uncertainly over runway expansion. “Operating at smaller airports is a tricky situation and riskier too. We would expand air operations once runways at these airports are upgraded,” MDLR Airlines chief operations officer U.K. Bose said.

That’s the impact not only to the city but to the entire region.

Source: The Econiomic Times