A Correspondent

CIAL Aviation Academy also to be formally inaugurated today

Nedumbassery: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanadan will officially open the new international departure block of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at a function at the airport on Friday evening. Later, he will also inaugurate the CIAL Aviation Academy at a function to be presided over by Fisheries Minister S. Sarma.

The new international departure terminal, with a built-up area of 3 lakh sq.ft., has 37 baggage counters with feeder conveyers and 36 immigration counters.

It has eight door-framed metal dictators at the security frisking area and X-ray screening machines. Foreign exchange counters by banks and authorised agencies operate in the general concourse and the security hold area.

A duty free shop, a restaurant and snack bars have been set up in the area which is also accessible through escalators and lifts. This facility will be of help to the elderly and the physically challenged. The departure security lounge functioning in the first two floors will have separate gate-holds with five aerobridges and the second floor boasts executive lounges, a roof top garden and open-to-sky areas, apart from guest rooms.

Facilities including state-of-the-art flight information systems, transit lounge, prayer room and a medical room with five beds and equipment to meet any medical emergency have also been set up inside the terminal. Front office provisions have been made available for the airlines to provide information and ticketing services to passengers.

The general public will also have access to the visitors’ area through entry tickets. The arrival and departure concourses have been interconnected so that passengers can have easy access to the various facilities inside the airport.

The CIAL Aviation Academy functions in a two-storey building located on the airport premises. The institute is affiliated to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and offers master degree programmes, advanced diplomas and short-term certificate programmes in the domain of aviation science and management.

While 60 students have been admitted to the MBA programme, there are 40 students in the diploma course and 90 for the certification programme.

Experts on the relevant subject, including the top brass of the airport company and faculty members from the IGNOU, constitute the resource base of the institute.

The academy, the country’s first airport-based aviation institute, also plans to start M.Tech. and other technical courses.