Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju inspects facilities at Chennai airport
"Accompanied by his Minister of State, GM Siddeshwara, Raju yesterday inspected the key infrastructural facilities at Chennai airport, where the chairman of Airports Authority of India and other senior officials were also present," said a ministry release.
The minister wanted to personally visit Chennai airport following complaints received by him through the media and stakeholders regarding deficiencies in infrastructure development and the maintenance standards at the facility, the ministry added.
During his review, Raju went around the various sites at the airport like the domestic departure and arrival areas and the city-side terminal corridor.
He also inspected the new international departures wing. He said that AAI has "fairly attended" to the deficiencies notified during the surprise visit carried out by his ministry's officials and there is scope for doing better in terms of the cleanliness of terminals, maintenance of washrooms and the overall interior ambiance.
The improvements should be carried out on a sustained basis to improve customer perception, he added. Raju is said to have asked AAI officials to look into the infrastructural issues where they can immediately act to ease the congestion in the security-hold area of the domestic terminal and at the security check-points.
He also gave suggestions for improvements to the passenger waiting areas by realigning certain concessionaires' kiosks for more space in the passages.
He said the airport needs more work on its green aspect and directed AAI to engage a professional horticultural consultant to develop the greenery around it.
"Some passengers also expressed the view that there was scope for authorities to improve the facilities related to hygiene in the washrooms and the chairman, AAI, informed the minister that the facilities related to washrooms shall improve further as AAI has already put in place modified upkeep and janitorial services," the release added.
Raju was told by AAI that the new agency for executing the said services is in the process of mobilising manpower and machinery for the same.