KERALA

New terminal to be operational by May

Work in progress: The new international airport terminal coming up in Chakka. –

Work in progress: The new international airport terminal coming up in Chakka. –   | Photo Credit: Photo: S. Mahinsha

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

70 per cent work on the Rs.245.58-crore international airport terminal complex is over

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Rs.245.58-crore terminal complex of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport being constructed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be operational by May.

As much as 70 per cent of the work on the terminal building, coming up facing the Parvathi Puthanar on the Chakka side and having a tubular structure has been completed.

The ground floor of the building will have a floor area of 11,520 sq. metres. The mezzanine floor will be 5,354 sq. metres in area and the first floor 6,425 sq. metres.

The building will resemble an aircraft from the airside as it will have windows as in an aircraft along its length. The work on erecting these windows, which will allow the passengers to view the apron, had commenced.

The work on the roof, which will have a maximum height of 19 metres, with heat-reflecting toughened glass, and laying of raw-silk granite on the floor was in full swing. Three of the eight parking bays had been completed.

An air-conditioning plant was getting ready on the Chaka side. Three escalators — one for proceeding from the concourse to the first floor and the other two for moving from the mezzanine to the ground floor had arrived and will be installed soon.

The Rs.165-crore first phase work includes the terminal building (Rs.115-crore) and the apron and car park, which can accommodate 575 cars. The offices of airlines, plant rooms and other supporting facilities will come up on the mezzanine floor.

“The passengers will not have any access to this floor. We will be soon allocating space to airline companies. Round-the-clock work is on to commission the terminal by May this year,” Airport Director N. Nagraj told The Hindu.

The ground floor will house 18 check-in counters, 20 immigration counters and 11 customs counters. Customs and Immigration checks will be on the ground floor for those arriving at the airport. An air-conditioned visitors’ lounge, to accommodate 230 persons, is also being set up at the terminal.

Visitors will be able to see the passengers till they leave the check-in counters for security check.

The security hold area in the first floor of the terminal will be able to accommodate 800 arrival and 800 departure passengers at a time. An exclusive 1800 sq.ft.-lounge for commercially important persons is also being set up. The arrival and departure wings will have separate VIP lounges.

Business centres, duty free shops and restaurants will come up on the ground floor and the security hold area of the first floor.

The civil works on the three aerobridges that will facilitate the docking of the aircraft to the terminal was also progressing. Orders had been placed by the AAI for the aerobridges, the Director said.

Mr. Nagraj said the Rs.80-crore second phase, taken up along with this, was also in full swing. “The disputes over unloading and non-availability of construction materials led to the delay,” he said.

The second phase work involves lateral expansion of the terminal building by 27 metres on the Chaka side and by 40.5 metres on the Karali side. An additional 8,000 sq.metres is being created and this will take the total floor space of the terminal to 30,000 sq.metres. Work on the approach road to the terminal building from the Chaka-Eenchakkal stretch of the NH 47 bypass, being undertaken by KITCO, was also progressing.

AAI General Manager (Projects) V.K. Malhotra said the buildings housing the hangar of the NCC and the Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy were yet to be demolished.Of the 48.56 hectares needed for the project, the State government had handed over only 11.15 hectares.

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