Mumbai: No baby steps, T2 takes wing in first year
With Terminal 2 completing one year of service this week, Neha Tripathi takes a look at the facilities that have been added to it from the time of its inauguration
As it celebrates its first anniversary on Thursday, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s swanky Terminal 2 (T2) has a lot going for it. With several new amenities being added for the benefit of passengers, the terminal has come a long way in the span of a year.
From the time of its inauguration, various facilities have been added at T2. File pic
Inaugurated on February 12, 2014, T2 is spread over 4.39 lakh square metres and was designed to cater to an estimated 40 million passengers annually. The terminal was initially in the news for the mosquito menace, but authorities managed to overcome the problem and the airport has remained mosquito-free for some time now.
Among the new additions for passenger convenience, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has installed public telephone booths, created additional smoking lounges all over T2 and provided a designated meeting point at level 1 of the airport, allowing relatives of passengers to wait inside the terminal (hall area) by paying Rs 70.
The terminal also got a permanent setup of doctors and medical staff to check passengers around the clock, which has proved to be an important addition, especially during scenarios like the recent Ebola outbreak. Domestic flights have also started from the terminal and Tata Vistara was the first domestic carrier to land at the international airport on January 9, 2015.
A senior airport official said, “T2 has now introduced shuttle services from the international and domestic wings and vice-versa from outside the terminal. Initially, the facility was available from inside the airport, but it was changed to curb smuggling.”
T2 also became the first airport in India to offer non-VIP passengers priority check-in and special lounge access, with hassle-free security and immigration clearance. These Commercially Important Passengers (CIPs) don’t pay an additional fee or have to issue instructions to airlines to be accorded special status.
There are eight counters to check in CIPs. They are segregated from the rest of the passengers and are issued their boarding passes at specially created pods.
There are many facilities that passengers can expect in months to come. The southeast pier of the terminal is still under construction. When that is completed, domestic operations will commence on a full scale from T2 and authorities will get access to a bigger area to manage the passengers for boarding. T2 is also in the process of setting-up an integrated auto rickshaw plaza.