Madras International Airport (Meenambakkam) MAA

The name Madras International Airport is the former name of Chennai International Airport or Annadurai International Airport. It is located in Tirusalam, which is itself a suburban area of Madras in India. The exact location of the airport is near Pallavaram, which is a place located 14.5 km south of the city of Madras.

After Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and the Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, this airport is considered the third largest one in India. The statistics of 2007-08 reveal that this airport had a total passenger movement of around 11 million.

Terminal History, Current Terminal Facilities and Future Developments

The airport, which was opened for public in 1954 had only one terminal initially (Kamaraj Terminal). This terminal was opened at northeast side of the airfield, while the second terminal (Anna Terminal) had its foundation laid in Tirusalam. Now, the first terminal is used for cargo operations (and also for courier operations of Blue Dart Company) as well as for domestic flights, while the second terminal is used for international passenger operations. Flights from the major international destinations such as London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Muscat, Bahrain, Jeddah, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Sri Lanka operate at the second terminal.

With a staggering capacity of handling 25 aircrafts per hour, the second terminal has handled 115,865 aircraft movements in 2007. This has oversaturated the current limit of the airport, and the Aviation Authority of India felt that another terminal should be built for the airport so that it could handle its workload easily. For this reason, an international group has been hired to construct the new terminal. The new terminal is expected to handle 10 million passengers an year with a covered area of 140,000 m2. It is expected to have 20 aerobridges and 60 immigration counters. With the formation of new terminal, a new runway will also be made, which will be unique in its style, as it will be built over the ‘Adyar’ River. Hence, Madras International Airport will then be the only airport in India to have a runway built over a river.


The current terminal is equipped with exquisite facilities such as excellent X-ray baggage facilities, Wi-Fi internet connection (only at selected spots of the terminal) and banks. Moreover, there are nice conference lounges and business facilities for corporate business personnel.

Moreover, the airport is also equipped with some of the facilities that are specifically designed for passengers. These are:

• Free telephonic services in the security holding area of the airport

• Special assistance for physically and mentally challenged passengers

• Free medical facilities and health scan facility at Terminal 1

• A special lobby for infant handling

• Outlets for snacks, newspapers and magazines

• Televisions for entertainment and news purposes

• Tourist Information Counters

• Counter for railway reservations

Airlines Operating at the Airport, the Most Frequently Operated Destinations, and Airport’s Ground Facilities

Airlines operating on domestic routes are Air India Regional, Indian Airlines, Jet Lite, and Kingfisher Airlines.

Airlines operating on domestic as well as international routes are Air India, Air-India Express, and SpiceJet Airlines.

Airlines operating on International routes only are Air Arabia, Air Asia, Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SilkAir, Singapore, Sri Lankan Airlines, Thai Airways International, and Tiger Airways.

The most frequently operated international destinations at Madras International Airport are Singapore, Colombo (Sri Lanka), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and Dubai.

Alternatively, the most frequently travelled domestic destinations in descending order are New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kolkata, and Madurai.

The ground transport facilities at this airport are efficient with one link of railways provided by the railway system in Chennai to the airport. The train station is just across the airport road, from where trains run until Egmore (the busiest neighbourhood of Chennai). Moreover, you can take a prepaid taxi from the arrival terminal.

Car hire services are provided by many companies at the airport. You can find many companies such as ‘Chennai Car Rental’ and ‘Savari’ for this purpose.

The airport also offers the facilities of retiring rooms. The nearby hotels are Radisson Hotel or Mars Hotel. Both of these hotels are located at a distance of 2 Km from the airport.

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