Thiruporur, which was among the places shortlisted for the city’s second airport, may be ruled out, as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has questioned its suitability.Initially, the State government had suggested to AAI that Thiruporur could be one of the locations for the greenfield airport.The available land was also free of any encroachments or encumbrance, and hence it was to be considered for the construction of the second airport.The State government had carried out a preliminary survey of the site and indicated that it was at an aerial distance of about 28 km from the present airport in Meenambakkam.Subsequently, the State government had asked the AAI to conduct a rapid obstacle limitation surfaces (OLS) study and see if the site can indeed be used.According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the OLS study was required to define “the volume of airspace that should ideally be kept free from obstacles, in order to minimize the dangers presented by obstacles to an aircraft”.The State government had also informed the AAI that if the study was done at the earliest, the establishment of the second airport could be done soon, as the State government owned the land. But AAI authorities in New Delhi have said that it may not be feasible to build a second airport at Thiruporur, owing to its “proximity” to the Tambaram Air Force station and the Kalpakkam nuclear plant. “The approach funnel of the southern runway [in the proposed site] will be very close to the prohibited airspace,” the AAI said in its reply, suggesting that the State government find an alternative site.The State government is now considering which of the other five locations, including Thodur, Maduramangalam, Mappedu, Valathur and Cheyyar, will be suitable for the second airport.
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