Following meeting in November 2012 with Bala Mahendran CEO of Basildon Council, he had extended an invitation for a visit by BBG to Basildon to meet some of local high companies in auto/aviation & technical apprenticeship/ education

On 3rd April arrangements were made for Christie Cherian to visit Basildon and meet Bala Mahendran to discuss co-operation between BBG and Basildon to look at specific areas and meet some local high-tech companies. Basildon Council itself has made improvements in it’s operations and in provision of facilities/ services locally – it was felt some of these could be offered to Chennai’s Corporation if the right connections can be made at appropriate levels. Christie was also able to tell Bala of planned June 13 BBG trade mission which Bala welcomed and said they could field some visits / meetings

Of big interest was the visit to Prospects College which has a commendable apprenticeship scheme to source well trained technicians for the high-tech companies locally. Christie visited the brand new Futures Community College and was taken around an impressive purpose-built building training some 600 technical students – some have been absorbed by local companies. At Gardner Aerospace, Christie was taken around a very high-tech plant with CNC lathes turning out aircraft parts for Boeing and other aviation companies (Gardner recently acquired a company in Bangalore and has 2 factories in Poland). Gardner employs 17 apprentices from Prospects. The third location visited was MIRA a company based in Nuneaton doing auto and aviation components and environment testing.

The tour around industrial estates of Basildon and Wickford revealed a very active business region just 40 minutes out of London and showed that UK still has interesting manufacturing in high-end products.

Airport Director
Airport Authority of India
Chennai Saturday, August 03, 2013
Dear Sir

Re: AAI Chennai – Arrivals/ Departure concourse – control barriers to keep traffic moving: ticketing with 5-minute duration and parking penalty when exceeded at exit of Rs 60 / 100

The new Arrivals/ Departures concourse at Chennai is protected by ticket barriers. Such barriers are not installed or seen at any airport in the whole of India or indeed the world (am just back from Bangkok & Yangon and London/ Belfast and Dubai). What is so backward about Chennai that AAI cannot control traffic flows at this messy entrance and pretty badly maintained front area of this new airport?

I represent UK-related business in this city and would like to comment that it is a shame that AAI Chennai has to have such a ridiculous system in place. Even if it is to control security for terrorist activities, this is not the way to do it!

Passengers arriving by taxis are harassed by drivers to pay parking charges of Rs 60- at least on basis they may be delayed by jams leaving at exit gates. All of us also know it takes a few minutes getting out of cars/ taxis and in taking out luggage. For older people, it can take longer – not sure what wisdom was used by AAI in estimating 5-minutes for dropping and exiting what are poorly designed approaches and gates (some of your people should inspect these)

We may also add that this procedure is a bit rich for a major state-of-the-art institution with ISO 9001 certification which over-ran cost and scheduling way beyond 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 weeks, 5 months……

We would urge AAI Chennai to have these ticketing barriers removed at an early date and meet the standards normal for airports the world over

Yours faithfully

Christie Cherian
British Business Group Chennai Trust