Chennai airport has got new, state-of-the-art equipment for its ground handling operations. New Delhi based Bhadra International, which was allotted the ground handling operations project for the airport, has imported a wide range of ground-handling equipment from Germany for the purpose. This includes sophisticated coaches for transporting passengers from the terminal building to the aircrafts. The new air-conditioned coach – Cobus 3000, is made by German mass transit airport manufacturer, Contrac Cobus and can accommodate 112 passengers. It comes with plush interiors and wide leg room. The body of the bus can be lowered up to four inches above the ground to enable senior citizens and physically challenged people to board and alight from the bus comfortably. Wheelchairs can be taken in the bus with ease as a mat has been provided for the purpose. There will be 15 such Cobus buses at the airport.
The airport will also get a new battery powered and soundless towing tractor which will do away with the noise and pollution of the existing tractors. The Trepel towing tractor is especially designed for airport use – in cargo areas and aprons. Ten new ground power units, Hetzinger, have been procured which are eco-friendly. Step ladders, pushback vehicles, low deck loaders for narrow body aircraft, conveyors, main deck loaders for wide body aircraft, tow bars to tow aircraft, transporters that can be used to move cargo, and battery-operated cars are some of the other equipment that have been bought. All airport personnel have undergone an extensive two-week training to use the new ground handling equipment. To properly manage its operations, Bhadra International will build a maintenance depot on the 26,000sq feet area allotted to it at the airport by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).