The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) on Friday invited tenders for constructing a new, expansive, state-of-the-art international terminal.

The new terminal is aimed at serving two purposes: address the space crunch at the domestic terminal that is bursting at the seams, and expand infrastructure considering the growth in international passenger movement.

The bid is for a 15 lakh sq.ft terminal, with arrival and departure areas, that is estimated to cost Rs.255 crore. A deadline of 18 months has been set for building the terminal.

The bid is open to individual, proprietorship and partnership firms, and companies or corporations with experience in executing such projects. All bidders must meet the minimum prescribed financial and technical capabilities. Joint venture companies and consortiums, however, will not be permitted to bid.

At present, the international terminal at the Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, has a built-up space of 4.75 lakh sq.ft, with peak hour capacity to handle 1,200 passengers each at the arrival and departure areas.

While the terminal is spacious enough to meet international traffic through the airport, the domestic terminal needs immediate expansion. “Once the new international terminal is ready, the existing international terminal will be converted into the domestic terminal.

“This will serve twin purposes — address the need for a larger domestic terminal, and the need for a bigger international terminal considering the exponential growth in passenger traffic every year.

“The new terminal will have the capacity to handle about 2,400 arriving passengers, and an equal number of departing passengers during peak hours,” airport director A.C.K. Nair told The Hindu. The domestic terminal, with a built-up area of about 1 lakh sq.ft, can handle 400 passengers each at the arrival and departure areas during peak hours.

“But passenger movement through the domestic terminal has long surpassed that limit. It now touches about 750 passengers each during peak hours,” Mr. Nair said.

CIAL is ranked seventh in the country in terms of overall passenger traffic. It is, however, ranked fourth in international passenger movement, behind Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai airports. CIAL is also in the top 10 in terms of domestic passenger movement.

During the 2012-13 fiscal, 49 lakh passengers passed through the airport compared to 47.23 lakh in the previous fiscal.

The number of international passengers rose to 29.34 lakh, while domestic passenger movement was recorded at 19.66 lakh.

Passenger movement through the airport has registered an increase of about 13 per cent in the first seven months of this fiscal.

RELATED NEWS

State-of-the-art terminal at CIAL soonDecember 16, 2012

More In: Kochi | Kerala | National