Work to begin on Saturday at Kochi airport

Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is all set to embark on an ambitious expansion drive by going for a state-of-the-art modern international terminal to keep pace with its growing status and ever increasing passenger traffic.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will lay the foundation stone for the new international passenger terminal on Saturday. The construction will be launched on the same day and is likely to be opened to the public in two and a half years.

Rs.800-crore project

To be set up at an investment of over Rs. 800 crore, the new terminal will have a built-up area of 15 lakh sq.ft with a peak hour capacity to handle 4,000 passengers. The present international terminal with a built-up space of 4.75 lakh sq.ft has a peak hour capacity to handle only 1,200 passengers each on the arrival and departure sides.

The country’s first green field airport in the public private partnership model has integrated some unique and standout features in to its terminal design that marks the biggest expansion programme since the airport turned operational in 1999.

The terminal’s elevation has been modelled along the State’s traditional and aesthetically-rich temple architecture. It would be a multi-level terminal complex with the ground level to feature arrivals, and departures in the first level.

Finger pier design

Giving a global appeal to the terminal would be its finger pier design (where passengers are processed at the terminal location and then routed down a "pier" where aircraft are parked in the "finger" slots or gates for boarding) facilitating handling of 13-15 aircraft through aerobridges during peak operations compared to five aircraft at present. There would be an elevated road approach to the departure level, making it further passenger-friendly. Besides, there would be a 25-metre-wide corridor with landscape and connectivity to departure.

Food courts, lounges

The expansive departure level would sport amenities of global standards, including a covered road or kerb area of 3 lakh sq.ft, 56 check-in counters, a 10,000 sq.ft duty-free shop and 13 security gates. It would also feature two food courts and four premium lounges.

The arrival floor will have easy connectivity to departure level for transit passengers and connectivity to remote arrival. Immigration will be a smooth affair for arriving passengers as well with 50 immigration counters planned. There will be an aquarium, vertical garden, hanging installation and murals to keep passengers engaged.

Smoothening passenger movement will be a string of six conveyor belts and 18,000 sq.ft passenger exit lounge with two main exit points. It would also feature a 2,000 sq.ft duty free shop, visitors’ waiting area and a meet-and-greet area.

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