Coimbatore to have international airport by 2014
The Coimbatore airport is being converted into an international airport on the lines of the Devanahalli airport in Bangalore by July 2014. The expansion plan was held up due to protests by local villagers. Now the decks have been cleared for acquiring lands for the expansion of its existing airport. The Tamil Nadu government has assured Airports Authority of India (AAI) that the acquisition of around 612.97 acre required for the expansion works would be completed by next June. AAI can than start construction works from next July. AAI would need just three more years to finish the construction work.
On completion, it would be an all-new international airport, comparable only with the recently constructed international airports like Bangalore and Hyderabad. The runway will be extended to 12,000 feet from the present 9,900 feet to facilitate landing and take-off of wide-bodied and fat-bellied international flights. The main building with domestic and international terminals would come up in the area facing L&T Bypass and so the public can use it as the main entrance. There would be an entrance from Trichy Road as well. However, the present entrance from Salem Road would be closed and the existing airport building would be used to accommodate various offices of AAI and its affiliated organizations.