Seven more airlines to fly to capital

The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is upgrading its facilities to meet future challenges and cater to seven airlines waiting in the wings to begin flight operations to the capital city.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is building a parallel taxiway, isolation bay, aerobridge and an apron at the terminal and two ‘turning pads’..

The work, estimated to cost Rs.120 crore, is on in full swing. Airport Director V.N. Chandran told The Hindu that the work would continue during the monsoon and be completed in 24 months.

The Rs.52-crore parallel taxiway will facilitate faster clearance of aircraft from the runway. Runway occupancy of aircraft is now eight minutes. The 1,595 metre-long parallel taxiway is being constructed in addition to the existing 543-metre parallel taxiway from the runway to the new terminal on the city side.

Two ‘turning pads’ are being constructed on both sides of the runway so that medium aircraft do not have to go to the end of the runway to reach the parking bays. The turning pads will come up on the sides of Runway 14 and 32, at a cost of Rs.11 crore. The Airport Director said the turning pads would come of help to commanders of wide-bodied aircraft.

The additional apron on Bay 23 on the international terminal side is being built at estimated cost of Rs.11 crore. With this, the number of bays will go up to 8.

The isolation bay will come up on the old runway on the southern side of the “sensitive” airport.

The 18,463 sq mt isolation bay will be for parking aircraft if they need to be isolated during emergencies as per BCAS norms.

The terminal will get a fourth aerobridge at a cost of Rs.20.98 crore. This will help to regulate the rush during the early hours of the day when there is “bunching” of flights from the Middle East.

The terminal building is being extended by 77 metres so that the aerobridge can be fixed in that portion.

In addition, the security-hold area of the domestic terminal will be extended. An additional 770 sq m area will be created as security hold area on the first floor at a cost of Rs.7 crore.

Mr. Chandran said extending the security-hold area will enable handling of the passengers of two to three aircraft at a time.

It will come in handy during flight delays and will be completed in 14 months.