CHENNAI: For the first time, users will have a say in the way the city airport is managed. Airports Authority of India (AAI) will soon invite feedback from airlines, passengers, industry bodies and other stakeholders to ensure that Chennai airport is user-friendly. AAI has also set up a 12-member Airport Users Consultative Committee. The panel includes representatives from trade and industry bodies, the hospitality industry, airlines, passengers associations, travel agents and immigration department officials. The airport took the initiative to set it up after criticism from different quarters about the shoddy state of the terminals though the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority issued AAI a directive to form the committee first in 2009 and again in 2011.
"It took time to identify organisations and send them letters asking for nominations. All the agencies that we wrote to have agreed to be part of the initiative which is designed to discuss and sort out issues related to airlines, passengers, traders and others," said a senior official of AAI. The committee will have representatives from Confederation of Indian Industry, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, South Indian Hotels and Restaurants Association, Air Passengers Association of India, Express Industry Council of India, Travel Agents Association of India, Airline Operators Committee, immigration department, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and CISF.
"These agencies represent a cross section of users including passengers and cargo. We will soon call for a meeting to discuss different issues," he added. D Sudhakara Reddy, president, Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) said, "The initiative is good. AAI should regularly convene the meetings of the committee and discuss all issues relating to passengers." He said one of the issues that needs to be addressed at the airport is parking, because passengers' vehicles are currently not allowed near the terminal.