Tiruchirappalli International Airport

Tiruchirappalli International Airport (IATA: TRZ, ICAO: VOTR) is an international airport serving Tiruchirappalli in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located on National Highway 336, about 5 km (3.1 mi) south of the city centre .[4] It is the 31st busiest airport in India for passengers handled, 33rd busiest for total aircraft movement.It is the third-largest airport in Tamil Nadu in terms of total passenger traffic next to Chennai and Coimbatore . The airport is served by two Indian and four foreign carriers providing direct connectivity to 5 domestic and 7 international destinations.The airport covers an area of 998 acres. The airport is ISO 9001:2008 quality certified and was declared an international airport on 4 October 2012.[5][6]

Tiruchirappalli International Airport
Tiruchirappalli International Airport Front View.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerMinistry of Civil Aviation
OperatorAirports Authority of India
ServesTiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Karur, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Namakkal, Tiruvarur
LocationTiruchirappalli Urban, Tamil Nadu
Elevation AMSL88 m / 290 ft
Coordinates10°45′56″N 078°42′54″E / 10.76556°N 78.71500°E / 10.76556; 78.71500Coordinates: 10°45′56″N 078°42′54″E / 10.76556°N 78.71500°E / 10.76556; 78.71500
WebsiteAAI Tiruchirapalli
TRZ is located in Tiruchirapalli
TRZ is located in Tamil Nadu
TRZ is located in India
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,479.8 8,136 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2018 - March 2019)
Passenger movements1,578,831(Increase11.30%)
Aircraft movements12,801(Increase14.70%)
Cargo tonnage7,541 (Increase5.70%)
Source: AAI[1][2][3]


This airport was established by the British during World War II and was primarily used by the British Airforce during the world wars. Warplanes were brought to the airport and taken to a workshop in Ponmalai, 2 km away for repair and maintenance. The airport was given permission for civilian operations after the war ended[citation needed].

The first known history of flight landing at the airport dates back to 1936 when the first airmail for Colombo from India was carried by the TATA's "Goodwill Flight", piloted by H.D. Barucha on 23 December 1936, which took off from Bombay for Colombo after stopping at Hyderabad, Madras and Trichinopoly.[7] Commercial flights on the Bombay—Trivandrum—Tirchinopoly route was operational during 1941.[8] After Ceylon government seeking permission to operate flights between Colombo and Trichinopoly in 1947,[9] Indian government improved the aerodrome for full functioning and allowed flight operations to Colombo in 1948.[10] After that Air Ceylon inaugurated a regular weekly commercial service between Colombo and Karachi on 3 December 1948, using a Dakota flight with passengers through Tiruchirappalli and Bombay.[11]

After Air Ceylon (Sri Lankan Airlines)[12] began operations to Sri Lanka in the late 1940s, Indian Airlines started services in the 1980s.[13] The airlines operated flights from Trichy to Colombo through Jaffna. This was a Customs Airport until 4 October 2012, when it was given an International Airport status by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.[14][15]


The airport has two adjacent terminals. The integrated passenger terminal is used for both international and domestic air traffic. The old terminal has been converted into an international cargo complex. The 4,000 m2 (43,000 sq ft) cargo complex was commissioned for operations on 21 November 2011.[16]

Integrated passenger terminalEdit

Check In Counters
Waiting hall
Airport connecting hall

The active integrated passenger terminal built at cost of 80 crore (US$11 million) was inaugurated on 21 February 2009 and started operations from 1 June 2009.[17] The two-story terminal has a floor area of 11,777 m2 (126,770 sq ft) with handling capacity of 0.49 million passengers per annum and peak hour capacity of 470 passengers. Some of the features of the new terminal include:[18]

  • 12 check-in counters
  • 4 Custom counters (1 departure + 3 arrival)
  • 16 Immigration Counters (8 departure + 8 arrival)
  • 3 Conveyor belts (47 m (154 ft) each)
  • 1 Baggage assistance counter
  • 1 Health officer counter
  • 5 X-ray scanner for baggage (3 for registered baggage and 2 for hand baggage)[19]
  • 4 Security check units
  • 210 CISF strength
  • Total aircraft stands = 7
    • 3 for code D aircraft
    • 4 for code C aircraft
  • 3 Aero Bridges
  • Parking space for 300 vehicles

The new terminal has two lounges, VIP lounge managed by AAI and commercial important persons (CIP) lounge also managed by AAI.

Cargo terminalEdit

The old terminal was converted into an international cargo complex at a cost of Rupees 10 million.[20] The 4,000 m2 (43,000 sq ft) cargo complex was commissioned for operations on 21 November 2011. Out of which Export wing occupies 2,193 m2 (23,610 sq ft) and 1,750 m2 (18,800 sq ft) for Import wing.[16] The Central Board of Excise and Customs had earlier approved and notified the airport as an air cargo complex.[21] The one-time holding capacity of the cargo terminal is 250 metric tonnes[22] The airport is the gateway for foreign export as there is no easy way for export from the central region of Tamil Nadu.[23]

On 12 July 2013 the ministry of finance has notified Trichy international airport for international courier cargo movement. But the facilities for the same are yet to be set up by AAI.[24]

On 11 October 2013, a five-metric ton capacity cold storage facility was inaugurated at the cargo section. This facility will be helpful during flight delay, flight cancellation, advance booking and holiday bookings of cargo.[25]

On 21 April 2017, a dedicated Import Cargo facility has been created on 190 m2 (2,000 sq ft) at a cost of 20 lakh (US$28,000) to encourage more imports through the airport. At present the imports are very minimal as compared with the exports.

On 1 July 2017, EDI facility has been introduced at the Cargo Terminal. With this facility speedy and electronic clearance of Freight is assured eliminating the manual process, making the export process more simple. This is expected to pave way for additional commodities being exported from the airport.[26]

Airside InfrastructureEdit


Runways at Tiruchirapalli Airport
Runway Number Length Width Strength (PCN) ILS[27]
09/27 2,427 m (7,963 ft) 45 m (148 ft) 68/F/A/W/T NIL / CAT I
15/33 (Closed) 1,456 m (4,777 ft) 45 m (148 ft) 15/F/B/W/T NIL / NIL

Airport's older runway 15/33 was closed as part of early development and now used as an alternate taxiway to the apron. Re-carpeting work on the active runway 09/27 after 10 years life began on the first week of February 2020 at an cost of 20.00 crore (US$2.8 million). [28]

Apron and TaxiwayEdit

Parking Bays at Tiruchirapalli Airport[27]
Stand Numbers PCN Aircraft Remarks
1,2,3,4 70/R/C/W/T B739/A321 Or Below Concrete Surface
5,6,7 84/R/B/W/T B767-200 Or Below Concrete Surface with Aerobridges
8,9 Under Construction[29]

There are four taxiways in the airport designated as A,B,C,D. An Parallel taxiway and an Isolation bay to the active runway is under construction.[30]

Air Trafic ControlEdit

Currently the Air Traffic Control is handled from the Old Terminal Building. AAI along with the new terminal project has proposed to construct a new Technical Block cum Air Tracffic Control Tower at the Airport.[31] The initial proposal was to construct an 42.5 meters tall tower, which is now under proposal to be increased to 75 meters height.[32] The new ATC tower will provide complete view of the runways and an 360 degree view of the airport.

Madras Flying ClubEdit

Madras Flying Club started during 1929 in Madras Presidency of British India, operated previously in Chennai Airport premises had to shift their operations to Trichy Airport due to congestion and operational difficulties.[33][34] The Academy began its operations at Trichy Airport on 10th January 2020 where they have placed 6 training aircraft at the hangar, which previously been used by V.K.N Aviation Academy. They also have created three computer-aided smart classrooms facility in the airport. Tamil Nadu government has allocated two acres of its land adjoining to the airport for the club to setup its operational Infrastructure.[35]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International
Air India Express Abu Dhabi (resumes 30 March 2020), Delhi (begins 29 March 2020), Doha (begins 31 March 2020), Dubai–International, Madurai (begins 29 March 2020), Sharjah, Singapore
Alliance Air Chennai
IndiGo Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad,[36] Singapore
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur–International
Scoot Singapore
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike


Tiruchirapalli Airport has been undergoing expansion since 2004. The runway was extended from 1,829 m (6,000 ft) to 2,480 m (8,136 ft), apron expanded to hold 7 aircraft, fire station upgraded, a new taxiway and integrated passenger terminal were constructed.

The proposed Phase 2 expansion on 210 hectares (510 acres) by AAI includes extending the runway to 3,810 m (12,500 ft), construction of a modern air traffic control (ATC) tower, additional building complex and other works.[37] The state government has agreed to provide land free to AAI for the expansion.

Trichy is one of the non-metro airports selected for 200 crore (US$28 million) city side development on public-private partnership model.[38]

New integrated passenger terminalEdit

Due to the consistent increase in the air traffic, the integrated passenger terminal building with a total floor area of 11,777 m2 (126,770 sq ft) to handle 470 peak-hour passengers has become insufficient. Initially it was planned to expand the existing integrated terminal by 180 meters on both sides, by constructing an additional 17,920 m2 (192,900 sq ft) area to increase the passenger handling capacity to 1075 peak-hour passengers,[39] but later the Ministry of Civil Aviation initiated the construction of a new two-level passenger terminal at the cost of 897 crore (US$130 million).

The new terminal building is of size 75,000 m2 (810,000 sq ft), with capacity to handle 3.43 million passengers per year with a peak-hour handling capacity of 2,200 international and 500 domestic passengers. It will be constructed as per GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Four Star standards. The terminal is to be constructed on the existing airport land available on the south side, for which a new four-lane elevated access road is to be created from the National Highways passing besides the airport.[40][41] AAI has engaged a French company, EGIS, in partnership with the English architects Pascall+Watson, as the project managers has completed the design and plan for construction by March 2018.[42] The tender for construction has been awarded to ITD Cementation India Pvt Ltd by August 2018, the construction works are expected to begin by November 2018 and last till September 2021.[43]

This project includes the following

  • Two-level integrated terminal building
  • Parking for 750 automobiles, 250 taxis, and 10 buses
  • New air traffic control tower and technical block
  • New apron to accommodate 5 MARS Stands (5 E Code or 10 C Code aircraft)
  • Upgrade of fire station to Category 10
  • Expansion of cargo terminal
  • Airport systems
  • City-side development
  • Rehabilitation of AAI residential colony and CISF accommodation, consisting of 118 units

The cost of the project is estimated at 951 crore (US$130 million)[44]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new integrated passenger terminal at Tiruchi International Airport through video conferencing from Tiruppur on 10 February 2019.[45]

Runway extensionEdit

As part of phase 2 expansion the runway is planned to be extended to 3,200 m (10,500 ft) initially from the existing 2,480 m (8,136 ft) and later to 3,800 m (12,500 ft). AAI has sought land to the state government and once land sought for the expansion is available the extension would take place. The district administration has expressed its willingness to pay the market price for the land to be acquired. But the extension of the runway is pending for a long time due to delays in acquiring Land.

The AAI has sought around 510 acres of land for the current expansion. Of the total about 188 acres are dry land, 116 acres wetland, 164.68 acres defense land, 40.59 acres wasteland and 5.80 is with Hindu religious and Charitable Trust. To facilitate fast process on airport expansion on a joint technical advisory committee involving the departments of agriculture, public works department and revenue had been formed during 2012, which is chaired by Member of Trichy Parliamentary Constituency. Until 2019 P.Kumar chaired the meetings and currently its being chaired by Su. Thirunavukkarasar. The district administration has formed a special team comprising the airport director, revenue divisional officer, joint director of agriculture, officials of Public Works Department, and other agencies concerned to expedite the land acquisition process.[46]

In the joint advisory committee meeting on June 17, 2017 it was announced that the State government has given administrative sanction for acquisition of land required for the proposed expansion of the runway. The State government has provided administrative sanction to acquire nearly 345.62 acres in May 2017, including dry and wet lands, besides 40 acres of poromboke land. It has been decided to form a team to work on the exercise of land acquisition and payment of compensation.[47] During December 2017 The Deputy Director General Defence Estates has provided in principle approval for providing 337.7 acres of land to the AAI in lieu of land of “equal value” from the State government. The District Administration is also in process of acquiring residential buildings. With this the airport expansion has gained momentum.[48]

Apron expansionEdit

AAI has gone for the extension of existing apron with construction of third Aero Bridge and ramp equipment area measuring 2,800 sq.m. at an estimated cost of 2.25 crore (US$320,000), which has become active in January 2019[49][30] Ministry of Civil Aviation initiated plan to expand the apron to provide two more aircraft bays, increasing the bay count to nine. [39] Work on Additional bays was started on Feb 2020 at an estimated cost of 1.00 crore (US$140,000). [50]

In addition to this as part of new terminal construction additional apron is being constructed of 15,580 sq.m size for parking up to 10 code C aircraft type along with One Isolation Bay and GSE area including Taxi tracks, tendered during November 2017 and work started by August 2018.[51]


Located on the Pudukottai-Trichy National Highway 336 the airport is well connected with frequent City buses to the Central Bus Stand and Chatram Bus Stand, major bus terminals of the city. In addition to this exclusive buses were introduced to originate inside the airport premise destined to Karur, Thanjavur and Central Bus Stand.[52]

Maintenance facilitiesEdit

  • Air Works has line maintenance facility[53] to conduct transit checks on Airbus A320 type aircraft, which is the second one opened by them next to their Bangalore facility. It was opened on behalf of Singapore-based Scoot for its aircraft maintenance.[54]
  • The low-cost carrier Air India Express has an engineering stores complex for service and repairs of its aircraft. It would help quick turn around. Repair works could be carried out here. Initially four licensed engineers and eight technicians are posted to meet the service and repair requirements of the aircraft. The stores would have adequate spares and equipment.[55]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On October 11, 2018, Air India Express Flight 611 to Dubai hit the ILS system and a boundary wall while taking off around 1.30 am. The plane diverted to Mumbai and landed around 5.35 am, with no one sustaining any injuries. The fuselage had considerable tears and cracks. Both pilots involved have been derostered.[56][57]

Naming the airportEdit

In 2012, a request was made to name the airport after Sir C. V. Raman, a Nobel laureate from the city.[58] After the death of the former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, there have been requests made to rename the airport as "Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam International Airport".[59]


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External linksEdit

  Media related to Tiruchirappalli International Airport at Wikimedia Commons