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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Mumbai airport’s new terminal may miss September deadline

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai , September 22, 2013
First Published: 03:12 IST(22/9/2013) | Last Updated: 03:16 IST(22/9/2013)

The wait for Mumbai airport’s new terminal just got longer. The swanky terminal, named T2, was scheduled to open in September, but will now stay under cover at least till December.

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Although the four-storey structure at Sahar in Andheri is ready, there is a lot of finishing work yet to be completed, said sources.
 
“December is also a tentative deadline. We are not sure if the terminal can be fully functional by that time,” said an airport official, who did not wish to be named.

Another official added that most of the left over work consists of final touch-ups. “But considering the mammoth size of the structure, it is difficult to estimate the completion time,” he said.

A number of technical tests, which will be undertaken at the terminal before it is opened for fliers, are also expected to delay the project further. “After the structure is complete, a set of mandatory tests have to be undertaken,” said a senior official, adding that the most challenging test would be the one to determine smooth functionality of the terminal.  The test entails acclimatising all departments to the new structure.

The city airport operator is also awaiting minor clearances for the elevated six-lane road that will connect the new terminal to the Western Express Highway.

A Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson, however, denied that the project had missed its deadline. “We had planned the T2 project to be completed in the last quarter of 2013. Accordingly, we expect the terminal to be unveiled in December. We are not anticipating delays,” said the spokesperson.

But when MIAL presented T2 at the Routes Asia summit held at a Powai hotel in March, it had said that the structure was almost ready and would open for passengers by mid-September.

The terminal spread across 4.39 lakh square metres will have more than 5,000 square metres of landscaping and a multi-level car park, which can accommodate 5,000 vehicles.

The terminal will also have 188 check-in counters, 136 immigration counters and 10 baggage carousels. Once completed, it will be able to handle 40 million passengers in comparison to the present 30 million fliers.


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