The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday May 1, 2018 approved the upgradation and expansion of the existing Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati airports that will comprise new terminal buildings. The new airport terminal buildings will be operational by March 2021, at Guwahati and by December 2021, at Chennai and Lucknow. The expansion, for instance, will give the Chennai airport the ability to handle 35 million passengers annually. The expansion project for Chennai airport will cost Rs 2,467 crores, while it will cost Rs 1,383 crore for Lucknow and Rs 1,232 crore for Guwahati.
Of the total cost, 40% will be paid for by the funds of the state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) while the remaining 60% will be raised by the AAI through loans. Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said the CCEA decision would boost economic growth. The airport buildings will reflect the local culture of the place. For instance, the new airport building roof at Chennai will reflect the attire of the Bharatnatyam dancer while the Lucknow building will reflect Mughal architecture. The design for the buildings was made for the AAI by eminent design experts, architects and artists.