Chennai: With airlines opting out of allowing their passengers to ‘live’ test the departure services at the new airport terminal, AAI authorities had to resort to using their own staff to simulate a ‘dry departure run’ on Tuesday. However, thanks to a series of errors in communication and passenger display, the whole exercise was something of a flop show. Ironically, despite boasting of having state-of-the-art technology support in the Rs 2,500 crore terminal, most of the errors which occurred were reminiscent of the pre-digital era.
According to airport sources, most of the airport staff who were acting as passengers for the day were surprised to see that the display monitors flashed the logo and announced that the next flight to take off would be from Sahara Airlines - an operator who shut down their hangars quite a few years ago. “To add to the confusion, the logos were all mixed up and Air India bore the AI Express logo while Singapore Airlines bore the logo of the low-cost Spicejet,” said an official who participated in the exercise.
AAI sources said they had failed to organise the simulators properly, causing the confusion. “It was supposed to display the departure schedule that was being used in the live terminal, but things went wrong,” said an airport source. The final problem was that the display television monitors were not clearly visible from a distance and most participants were unable to make out the flight numbers.
Thanks to a series of errors in communication and passenger display, the whole exercise was a grand flop show.
Fortunately, the checking of the 52 SITA installed check-in counters were found to be functioning normally. Airport Director HS Suresh however said the dummy run went on well. “We have organised a debriefing session on Wednesday. Representatives from the Airline Operators Committee are expected to give their feedback then.”