Upset over the Centre not naming the second domestic terminal of the airport here after AIADMK founder M G
Ramachandran, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today boycotted the inauguration of the new domestic and international terminals by Vice President M Hamid
She said the people of the state and she herself were grieved that the Centre had not made an announcement in this regard prior to the inauguration, also attended by civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.
She recalled she had written to Singh making such a demand earlier, adding, she had accepted his invitation to attend today's event.
No such announcement had been made even as Ansari had arrived here to inaugurate the facilities, she said.
"As per protocol I received the Vice President at the airport. But since there has been no favourable response to my demand for naming domestic terminal-2 after MGR, which has deeply grieved people of Tamil Nadu and me, I inform with great regret that I didn't take part in the inauguration," she said in an official statement here.
"I insist that Centre should name the airport after MGR respecting people's sentiments," she said.
MGR, she noted, had reigned in the hearts of Tamil people and the naming of the terminal after him would have been welcomed by people, she said.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit singh said with these two new terminals, the capacity of Chennai airport has been enhanced from nine million to 23 million passengers per annum.
The annual cargo handling capacity has been enhanced from 3.2 lakh tonnes to 11 lakh
tonnes, he added.
The third busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, the secondary runway here has been extended by 1032 metres to a total length of 3117 metres by constructing a concrete bridge over river
Adyar, he said.
The growth in civil aviation in India has resulted making it the fastest growing markets in the world.
"Estimates suggest that domestic air traffic will touch 336 million passengers per annum in the next 10 years and the international traffic will exceed 84 million passengers," he said adding the focus was shifting to Low Cost Carrier model.
"It is expected that this model will continue to prevail for achieving higher growth of domestic carriers in future also."
The government was focussing on providing air connectivity to Tier II and III cities in the coming years and this could be achieved by operation of "right mix of airlines and development of low-cost, no -frills airports," he said.
On safety aspects, he said Data Link Communication System has been implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai which will eliminate human errors and delays in pre-departure clearance, he noted.
"A satellite based navigation system GAGAN is being jointly developed with ISRO. It is designed to provide accuracy, availability and integrity necessary to enable users rely on GPS for all phases of flights and is likely to be operational by July 2013," he said.
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah and Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal also spoke.