Special Correspondent

To facilitate re-carpeting of runway

KOCHI: Cochin International Airport is to be closed down for re-carpeting the runway during daytime for six months from November this year, according to official sources here.

The airport has been operational since June 1999 and the 3,400-metre-long bituminous runway need re-carpeting as per the standards set down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

An official press release said on Monday that CIAL proposes to close down aircraft operations on the runway between November 2008 and May 2009, from 10 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. every day (local time) to handover the runway for the re-carpeting work to the consultants and the contractors and once the day’s work is over, the runway would be open for operations after 8.00 p.m. to 10.00 a.m. the next day.

The re-carpeting work in the runway will start from one end of the runway and will progress to the other end in a continuous and phased manner. There will not be any operational difficulties for the runway when it is opened for aircraft movements in the night and all types of aircrafts can land and take off using the runway. It is expected that the entire work can be completed in one working season of six months starting November 2008 to May 2009.

CIAL has already given advance intimation to all airlines and other agencies concerned as per the standard practice followed in airports for this kind of work and has requested them to reschedule their flights as per the above plan.

All airlines have assured their cooperation to CIAL for taking up this critical work of the airport in a time-bound manner.

CIAL does not anticipate any reduction in flight movements/passenger movements or revenue of the airport owing to the work. Also, there would not be any difficulties to passengers and cargo movements through the airport.

The runway re-carpeting operations will also not affect the flow of tourists to the airport and the State during this period. Both domestic and international flights would continue to operate at the airport.