The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued notices to around 140 houses in Kolapakkam as they are marked as obstacles to the flights landing on second runway at Chennai airport.
The move, which has come almost 12 years after the second runway was extended across the Adyar river, has irked the residents.
The notices issued to the residents say that height of the buildings needs to be reduced because they infringe into the permissible height allowed in the approach funnel to the runway.
AAI conducted an obstacle survey and found that houses, roof of buildings, water tanks, trees, poles and other obstacles pose a safety risk to the flights. Many of the buildings are around 10m above the permissbile safe limit.
A senior AAI official said, “We are taking the action for flight safety. The notices were issued to the residents because these constructions are obstacles.”
R J David, a Kolapakkam resident, said, “Top floors of many buildings have to be removed. The houses were built after getting due permissions from the CMDA and the neighbourhood has been in existance before the runway was extended. This is unfair because people are living in contant fear of losing their houses which were built after obtaining bank loans.”
He also said that the authorities should have taken into account the presence of these buildings when the runway was extended. “The runway level is lower than the surrounding area. This is also a reason for the houses getting termed as obstacles. We maybe paying the price for error by AAI.”
AAI is trying to remove the obstacles because the entire length of the second runway cannot be used. As traffic is back, they are trying to use it to its optimum level by removing obstacles, setting up approach lights.
This is the second time the residents are facing a hassle because the neighbourhood is near the airport. They resisted when AAI and the district administration conducted surveys without informing them to acquire land for setting up approach lights and safety buffer zone for second runway in 2010.