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I came to Pune on 6th Sep night by air.
When I entered the Chennai Airport on that day to take the flight to Pune, I could not believe my eyes. Though I was a frequent flyer before my retirement in 2004, I would have gone to Chennai airport only on a few occasions after 2004.Everytime I went there, I could see some developments taking place. This time however, there was a marked improvement and the airport has become very big ( compared to what it was six years back )
In those days,I remember that after getting out of the car just at the entrance gate, I had to walk only a few meters to the check in counter. On Monday, I had to walk for more than 5 mins to reach the check in counter! The waiting lounge has also undergone a vast change and I was wondering whether it was the same airport that I used to visit in those days.
The other improvement I could notice was in the operations side. Effective 1st Sep.,various steps for ontime departure of the flights have been introduced at Chennai airport- like passengers should report two hours prior to the sch dep time., the check in counter should be closed half an hour before the dep time,boarding should be completed before 15 mins etc- so that the flight can take off on time. Earlier, there used to be no discipline in adhering to the time schedules, as a result almost all the flights used to take off 10/15 mins behind schedule ,thus affecting the subsequent flights at the departing as well as at the destination airport.
The new initiative is a welcome one.In the 90 mins that I was at the airport, I could see that almost all the flights ( 7/8 ) took off on time. My flight in fact took off 5 mins earlier to the scheduled dep time !
On the minus side, earlier I used to take a cup of steaming coffee for Rs 5/- inside the airport.Now it has gone up by 5 times. May be a part of the cost of development is recovered this way !!