Tiruchirapalli Airport or Trichy Airport (IATA: TRZ, ICAO: VOTR) is a major airport mostly serving Tiruchirapalli and adjacent districts in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The airport, located on the NH 210 Tiruchirapalli - Rameswaram highway, is 5 km (3.1 mi) south of the city centre. The airport serves domestic and international destinations.
This airport, built by the British during World War II, was mainly used by the British Airforce during the world wars. The damaged flights were landed in the airport and taken to a workshop in Ponmalai, at a distance of 2 km and made repaired and used. The airport was given permission for civilian operations after the war, though the actual passenger traffic started in early 1980s. Air Lanka started its operations in 1981 with a weekly flight to Colombo and subsequently increasing its operations to 11 flights a week. Indian Airlines started its operations to Chennai and mid-east countries in mid 1990s.
Based on P.R.Brouse (Air Traffic controller at Trichy airport in 1942),the airport was used as Race course during 1930-40's.The airport had no buildings except ATC and had runway length of 600m.According to him, Trichy airport handled TATA's Dakota flight.The aircraft from Mumbai(via Bangalore) after re-fueling at Trichy airport carried passengers to Colombo.Usually 5 to 20 people traveled on this flight from Trichy. The Air Ceylon(Srilankan Airlines) operations started in late 1940s while Indian airlines service started before 1980.Both the airlines connected Trichy to Colombo and Jaffna.
The airport has an old terminal building. It has a long history. Before the construction of a new terminal this terminal would be crowded most of the timing. Now this building is being planned to be operated as a cargo terminal. If this plan is implimented the villagers in the surrownding districts would be happy as they can send their production to foreign at a less cost.
Integrated Terminal Building
The New Integrated Terminal (Inaugurated on 21 February 2009 and started operations from 1 June 2009) has an area of 11777 sq m and is made of glass and steel structure having modern passenger friendly facilities such as central air conditioning system, aerobridges,baggage conveyor system, escalators, public addressing system, Flight Information Display System (FIDS), CCTV for surveillance, check in counters, car parking, etc.
The Integrated Terminal Building has peak hour passenger handling capacity of 400 passengers and annual handling capacity of 3.24 lakhs. It has 2 aerobridges, 12 Check-in counters, 1 X ray scanners (for baggage). It also has 8+8=16 Immigration Counters (Dep. + Arr.), 2+4=6 Custom Counters (Dep. +Arr.), 2 Security check units and 3 Conveyor Belt – arrival (47m each).
The expansion of apron has been completed to cater for parking of total 7 aircraft: 3 Category 'D' and 4 Category 'C' type of aircraft from existing capacity of 3 Category 'C' type of aircraft.
Tiruchirapalli Airport is on 150 crore expansion mode since 2004. The runway was expanded from 6,000 ft (1,829 m) to 8,136 ft (2,480 m). The apron was expanded to hold 10 aircraft and new taxiway was constructed at cost of 40 cr. The construction of 80 cr New Integrated Terminal Building with world class features has been completed and inaugurated on 21st of February 2009. It consists of 2 aerobridges and provision for an additional gate.The Glass ATC tower with modern features is under construction.
Further, the airport is one of the non-metro airports selected for Indian Rupee 200 cr city side development on public-private partnership model. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already appointed a legal advisor for this and will shortly release a tender for the work. AAI has proposed Phase II expansion on 500 acres (2.0 km). The expansion includes extending the runway to 12,500 ft (3,810 m), construction of cargo, hangars, parking bay for aircraft maintenance and other works. The state government would provide land free to AAI for the phase II expansion. The Phase II expansion has been pending for a year due to land acquisition issues. People in and around the airport have opposed the move to acquire their land. The expansion gained momentum recently with the district administration deciding to go ahead with land acquisition opposite to the airport and also possible closure of the Tiruchirapalli-Pudukottai highway.
Airlines and destinations
Flight Training and Pilot Training Centres
Also owing to excellent conditions prevailing at Trichy Airport which is highly suitable for Flight Training. Trichy Airport is now the hotspot for establishment of flight training and pilot training centres in southern India. Given the state of the art infrastructure available here, it is an ideal training airport and base for aspiring pilots. VKN group have established a flight academy called VKN Aviation Academy with a fleet comprising of 5 brand new Cessna 172 R Glass Cockpit Aircraft.
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