Cochin International Airport

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Cochin International Airport
Cochin International Airport Logo.png
CIAL T.jpg
Summary
Airport type Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
Owner/Operator
Serves Kochi
Location Nedumbassery, Kochi, Kerala, India
Opened10 June 1999;24 years ago (1999-06-10)
Focus city for Air India
Operating base for
Elevation  AMSL 9 m / 30 ft
Coordinates 10°09′12.00″N76°23′17.39″E / 10.1533333°N 76.3881639°E / 10.1533333; 76.3881639
Website www.cial.aero
Map
India Kerala location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
COK
India location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
COK
Asia laea location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
COK
Runways
Direction LengthSurface
mft
09/273,44511,302 Asphalt
Helipads
NumberLengthSurface
mft
H11963 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2022 - March 2023)
Passengers8,812,531 (Increase2.svg 86.8%)
Aircraft movements58,278 (Increase2.svg 44.3%)
Cargo tonnage56,773 (Increase2.svg 2.3%)
Source: AAI [1] [2] [3]

Cochin International Airport( IATA : COK, ICAO : VOCI) (locally referred to as Nedumbassery Airport, Kochi Airport or Ernakulam Airport) is an international airport serving the city of Kochi, Kerala, in southwestern India. It is located at Nedumbassery, about 25 km (16 mi) northeast of the city center. The airport is the first of its kind to be developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model in India. This project was funded by nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 32 countries. [4] It is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala and the fourth biggest airport in South India. [4] As of 2019, the airport caters to 61.8% of the total air passenger traffic in Kerala. [5] It is the third busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic, [6] and the eighth busiest overall.

Contents

In fiscal year 2018–2019, the airport handled more than 10.2 million passengers with a total of 71,871 aircraft movements. [5] As of 2023, the airport is served by over 25 airline companies, carrying passengers to 31 international destinations and 22 domestic destinations.

The airport operates three passenger terminals and one cargo terminal with a total area of over 225,000 square metres (2,421,880 sq ft). [7] In 2015, the airport became the world's first fully solar-powered airport with the inauguration of a dedicated solar plant. [8] [9] For this entrepreneurial vision, the airport won the coveted Champion of the Earth award in 2018, the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations. [10] The airport was awarded The Best Airport in Asia-Pacific in 2020 (5 to 15 million passengers per year) by Airports Council International. [11]

History

Kochi's airport began as an airstrip on Willingdon Island, built in 1936 by the Kingdom of Cochin, intended for transporting officials involved in the development of the Cochin Port. The Kingdom of Cochin allowed the British, who ruled India at the time, to convert the airstrip into a military airport for use by the Indian Navy during World War II. The Royal Navy chose it as a strategic site for their headquarters in Southern India and as an air station cum landing craft and seaplane base. [12] The military facility hosted naval fighter planes and was intended to thwart possible Japanese air raids. [13] A small naval unit set up operations just two days before the outbreak of World War II. [14]

After India achieved dominion status and the merger of the Kingdom of Cochin with India, the Indian Navy operated the airport, though it permitted civilian aircraft to use the facility. The Gulf economic boom of the 1980s made it necessary to develop international connections to Kochi in the interests of expatriates working in the Middle East. [15]

Construction

The airport was constructed right by the Periyar river seen from a landing plane. Periyarfromplane.jpg
The airport was constructed right by the Periyar river seen from a landing plane.

The original proposal for the airport outlined an estimated cost of 1 billion (US$13 million) and an expected date of commission in 1997. Approval was granted in May 1993. The funding was envisaged to be from interest-free loans from non-resident Indians working abroad, donations from industrial undertakings, exporters, cooperative societies and loans from the state government. A body called the Cochin International Airport Society, under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Kerala K. Karunakaran, was registered in July 1993 to execute the project. To better fund mobilisation, as well as an administrative convenience, a public limited company under the name Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) was registered in March 1994 with an authorised capital of 900 million (US$11 million). [16]

In 1996, E. K. Nayanar took over as chairman of the CIAL project. The construction picked up momentum during this period and Nayanar ensured that the airport project received special attention from the State Government and gave his unstinted support to CIAL. By 1997, substantial land was taken into CIAL possession through negotiated settlements. [17] A total of 491 ha (1,213 acres) of land was acquired for the construction of the airport. [18] Approximately 2,300 landowners and 872 families were resettled under a rehabilitation package. [19] Major electric lines and an irrigation canal had to be diverted. The facility was formally inaugurated by the then President of India, K. R. Narayanan on 25 May 1999 and the first commercial service began on 10 June 1999. The operations from the old naval airport were moved to CIAL on 1 July 1999. [20]

Expansion

Phase 1

The airport had 18,580 m2 (200,000 sq ft) of floor space at its inauguration. CIAL envisioned four phases of expansion over 20 years, the third phase of which was completed in 2009. The original airport terminal was envisioned to handle just 100 passengers at a time. However, by 2001, the international passenger traffic was growing, making it necessary to redevelop the terminal.[ citation needed ]

In 2002, the floor area for the international operations of the original building rose due to the completion of a separate domestic terminal, shifting all domestic operations there.[ citation needed ]

Phase 2

Cochin International Airport Limited.jpg
Airport main entrance
A lifelike elephant statue at the arrivals section Tuskerairport.jpg
A lifelike elephant statue at the arrivals section

With a rising number of airlines operating at the airport, CIAL decided to construct an exclusive terminal for domestic operations, namely Terminal 2, making the international one Terminal 1, increasing the floor space for international operations by 37,161 m2 (400,000 sq ft). As part of the second phase of the expansion plans, an airline center complex of 7,500 m2 (81,000 sq ft) was constructed on the western side of the terminal to accommodate the airline and CIAL's administrative offices. The cargo terminal was also expanded in the second phase.[ citation needed ]

Phase 3

Work on the third phase was intended to accommodate 5 million passenger movements annually and was started in 2007. [21] The third phase involved the commissioning of a central block, connecting the domestic and international terminals and enlarging the airside area to accommodate more gates and waiting areas along with increased shopping areas. This increased the built-up area by another 29,700 m2 (320,000 sq ft). [22] The airside area of the international arrivals and departures blocks were integrated and glass walls were installed to allow for more natural light. The runway was re-surfaced in 2008. [23] The number of parking areas was increased from 15 to 24, including three dedicated for cargo airlines. The third phase also completed the expansion of the cargo village and a second aircraft taxiway to the MRO facility. [24] [25]

Phase 4

The fourth phase of expansion was originally planned to upgrade the domestic terminal, which has remained untouched in the past three phases. [26] [27] However, the expansion plans were changed after the new UDF government took over the administration of the state in May 2011.[ citation needed ]

As per the revised plans, the international terminal is to face a major renovation before being converted completely into a domestic terminal, while a new state-of-the-art international terminal is coming up. As per the new plans announced by the board of directors in September 2011, the new international terminal would come up on the eastern side of the existing structure. The built-up space of the new terminal would be 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft) having segregated departures and arrivals at different levels. [28] [29] [30] [31] The new terminal with an elevation featuring Kerala temple architecture will have all the latest features of international standards. Construction major Larsen & Toubro is building the facility which will be ready within 30 months. The two-level terminal will have provisions for 112 check-in counters, with in-line baggage screening facilities, 100 immigration counters, 3,716 square metres (40,000 sq ft) of duty-free shops at departure and arrival lounges, 19 boarding gates, 15 aerobridges, six baggage conveyor belts and fully covered alighting and boarding area. [32]

The current domestic terminal would be converted into an "Executive Pavilion" and would handle VIP and private chartered flights and jets. The current international terminal once converted into a domestic terminal, will have 5 aerobridges and 10 boarding gates, apart from increased parking bays.[ citation needed ]

Management

Cochin International Airport is the first in India to be built by a public-private partnership and is owned by a public limited company called Cochin International Airport Limited, better known as CIAL, created by the Government of Kerala in 1994. The Government of Kerala holds a 33.36% stake, making it the single largest investor in the project. [33] Indian government companies like Air India, BPCL and AAI hold an 8.74% stake, while foreign companies like Abu Dhabi based Emke Group, the Oman-based Galfar Group, UAE based Majeed Bukatara Trading holds a 5.42% stake. Indian companies hold 8.57% stake, while scheduled commercial banks like Federal Bank, SBT and Canara Bank holds 5.91%. [34] [35] The remaining 38.03% stake is held by more than 10,000 personal investors from 29 countries, mostly non-resident Indians. [36]

The company has decided to go for a public offering and give 10 million shares to HUDCO as part of a debt settlement, which would to lead HUDCO having a 3.37% stake in the company and a reduction of the stake of other holders. [34]

The Chief Minister of Kerala is the ex-officio chairman of CIAL. [37]

Terminals

Terminal 1 at CIAL Kochi airport terminal 1.jpg
Terminal 1 at CIAL

Cochin International Airport has three main terminals: two domestic and one international. There is also a cargo terminal.

CIAL T1 Check In Counter.jpg
Check-in counters at Terminal 1
Check-In area CIAL.jpg
Check-in counters at Terminal 2
Cochin International Airport Terminal 3 departure area, 23 May 2017 (2).jpg
Terminal 3 departure area
View of elephants inside Cochin International Airport.jpg
Inside the Terminal 3 departure area, with statues depicting the famous Thrissur Pooram festival.

Terminal 1 (Domestic)

Terminal 1 used to be an international terminal until the operations were shifted to the new international Terminal 3. The terminal underwent a massive upgrade and renovation after that, which took its total handling capacity to 4,000 passengers per hour which is 5 times the previous capacity. The renovated Terminal 1 was opened to travellers on 12 December 2018. [38]

With a total built-up area of 55,742 m2 (600,000 sq ft), [38] Terminal 1 has 56 check-in counters, 7 aerobridges and a conveyor belt system to transfer baggage from 12 flights at a time. It is also equipped with 6 reserve lounges, an art area, a food court, an executive lounge, and a 4,645-square-metre (50,000 sq ft) shopping area. [38] The terminal has a solar carport facility that can generate 2.4 MW [39] of power and can house 1,400 cars. Together with the solar carport at the International Terminal 3, it can generate 5.1 MW of power which is the largest carport in the world. [40]

Terminal 2 (Executive)

Terminal 2 has an area of 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq ft) and is designed to handle up to 400 passengers at peak times. The departure hall has 26 common use terminal equipment (CUTE) enabled check-in counters, including 6 premium check-in counters, 4 self check in counters. It has 6 security gates and a common waiting area that can accommodate 400 passengers at a time. There is also a family lounge and a premium lounge for business class passengers and a food court is housed in the waiting area, while a restaurant operates in entry lobby. There are 4 remote gates facility available for domestic passengers. The arrivals hall has 2 baggage carousels. [41] This block was converted into an executive terminal on 12 December 2018.[ citation needed ]

Terminal 3 (International)

The new international Terminal 3 was opened to travellers in March 2017. The theme of the terminal is inspired by Thrissur Pooram and is built in traditional Kerala architecture. 15 real-size fibre elephants, adorning traditional costumes welcome the travellers at the departure facility area. The terminal has 5 entry gates, 84 check-in counters and 80 immigration counters. It is equipped with 10 escalators, 21 elevators, and 3 moving walkways. [42] The terminal has a solar carport facility with a capacity of generating 2.7 MW power and can provide a parking facility for 1,400 cars. Along with the solar carport at the domestic Terminal 1, it is the largest solar carport in the world with a total capacity of 5.1 MW of power and a parking facility for 2,800 cars. [40]

With a total area of more than 150,000 m2 (1,614,587 sq ft), the terminal is built over 4 levels. The ground level handles arrivals. With a total ground area of around 41,156 m2 (442,999 sq ft), it has 10 customs counters, 3 bank counters, a shopping complex for the passengers and the general public, a VIP lounge, arrival duty-free shops and a baggage claim area. [42] The second level (5.5 metres above ground level) also handles arrivals and is equipped with 30 immigration counters, 10 e-T-Visa counters, 5 health check counters, and 2 moving walkways. [42] The third level (10.5 metres above ground level) is the departure facility area. It has a 20,836 m2 (224,277 sq ft) check-in area, 3 check-in islands having a total of 84 counters, 40 emigration counters, an 800-square-metre (8,611 sq ft) departure duty-free shop, 3 VIP reserved lounges, airline offices, 2 prayer rooms, and 1 moving walkway. The fourth level (15.5 metres above ground level) is the departure security hold area. With an area of more than 8,674 m2 (93,366 sq ft), it has a food court, restaurant, 3 airline executive lounges, smoking lounge, bar and reclining area. [42]

With the commissioning of Terminal 3, Cochin International Airport became India's 4th largest airport after Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, with a total built up area of more than 213,677 m2 (2,300,000 sq ft) for commercial operations.

Cargo center

Cochin Airport has a dedicated cargo center on the eastern side of the complex. The cargo center is one of the largest facilities in India with a total floor space of 11,000 m2 (120,000 sq ft) in 20 hectares (50 acres) of land. There are three complexes in the cargo village:

In addition, an exclusive domestic cargo complex has also been constructed for private domestic logistics firms and India Post services. [46] [ citation needed ]

Business Jet Terminal

According to CIAL, it is now only the fourth airport in India with a terminal for business jets. The terminal is expected to provide customised services to charter and private jets [47] .[ citation needed ]

“This terminal stands unique as it is India's first Charter Gateway. This one-of-a-kind terminal integrates tourism, international summits, business conferences and the movement of high net worth individuals, also accentuates the idea of cost-effectiveness in the development of an elegant airport terminal,” CIAL said in a release. Spread in 3,700 m2 (40,000 sq ft), the business jet terminal will cater to international and domestic business jet operations with a ‘safe house’ facility for security-exempted persons, CIAL informed. Besides, it comprises an exclusive private car parking space, a drive-in porch, a grand lobby, five opulent lounges, a business center, duty-free shop, a foreign exchange counter and a high-end video conferencing room. “Upgradation and modernization of transport systems are indispensable for industrial development in Kerala,” said Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan after inaugurating the terminal.[ citation needed ]

Infrastructure

Air traffic control

The air traffic control (ATC) tower is 60 m (200 ft) tall. Cochin ATC controls flights below an altitude of 7,800 m (25,500 ft). The airport has two instrument landing systems (ILS) using distance measuring equipment (DME) which enable flights to land from both sides of the runway even in rough weather conditions. CIAL is the only airport in the country besides the airport in metros to have such a facility. [48] The ATC uses Doppler VHF omni range I and II. [49]

Large-scale upgrades such as the latest AIRCON 2100 air traffic control automation system were also introduced. [50]

Airport surveillance radar

The Airports Authority of India has installed an advanced airport surveillance radar (ASR) as well as monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR). [51] [52] In addition, a surface movement radar was installed for effective monitoring of flights on the runway and in parking bays. [53]

Runway

Apron area of Terminal 3 of the airport, with planes from SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Air India. Flights parked at the Cochin International Airport.jpg
Apron area of Terminal 3 of the airport, with planes from SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Air India.

Cochin International Airport has one 3,445m long runway oriented as 27/09, which can handle Code E planes. It has a full-length parallel taxiway of 3,445 m (11,302 ft). The 807 m × 125 m (2,648 ft × 410 ft) apron comprising 16 stands can accommodate five wide-bodied and eight-narrow bodied aircraft. [54] [55] [56] The runway is spread over the panchayat areas of Nedumbassery, Sreemoolanagaram and Kanjoor.

Cochin Airport has one helipad for dedicated use of helicopters, meant for air-taxi purposes. Plans for constructing a heliport are underway. [57]

Naval Air Enclave at the airport Naval Air Enclave at Cochin International Airport operationalised (1).jpg
Naval Air Enclave at the airport

The Indian Navy has set up a Naval Aircraft Enclave at Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL). The Naval Aircraft Enclave comprises a hangar for bigger aircraft of the Navy, an administrative office, a disbursal center, an apron capable of holding 2 Boeing-type aircraft (P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft) and a taxi track. The Naval Aircraft Enclave at Cochin airport is the second such facility of the Navy attached to an international airport, after Mumbai. It is the first public-private participation model airport to hand over land to the Navy for such a facility.[ citation needed ]

Construction began in 2013 on 4 hectares (10 acres) of Navy-owned land at the airport. [58] [59]

Indian Coast Guard Air Enclave

The Indian Coast Guard has taken space in CIAL to develop its second air squadron in Kochi after the INS Garuda facility to improve coastal air surveillance and air-related assistance.[ citation needed ]

The facility comprises 2 hangars to accommodate the Chetak helicopter squadron, and the Dornier squadron along with advanced light helicopters are expected to be based here. The Air Enclave would have a 50m taxi link to the runway at CIAL and would consist of aircraft hangars, technical areas and administrative buildings. [60]

Airlines and destinations

Passenger

AirlinesDestinations
Air Arabia Sharjah [61]
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Air India Delhi, Doha, [62] Dubai–International, London–Gatwick, [63] Mumbai [64]
Air India Express Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, [65] Bangalore, Dammam, Delhi, Doha, Dubai–International, Hyderabad, [66] Kolkata, Muscat, Riyadh, Salalah, [67] Sharjah
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International [68]
Akasa Air Bangalore, Mumbai [69]
Alliance Air Agatti, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Salem [70]
Batik Air Malaysia Kuala Lumpur–International [71]
Emirates Dubai–International [72]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi [73]
flydubai Dubai–International [74]
Gulf Air Bahrain [75]
IndiGo Abu Dhabi, Agatti (begins 1 May 2024), [76] Ahmedabad, Bahrain (resumes 15 June 2024), Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Doha, Dubai–International, Goa–Dabolim, Hyderabad, Kannur, Kozhikode (begins 1 May 2024), [77] Kuwait City, Malé, Mumbai, Muscat, [78] Pune, [79] Thiruvananthapuram
Jazeera Airways Kuwait City [80]
Kuwait Airways Kuwait City [81]
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International [82]
Maldivian Malé
Oman Air Muscat [83]
Qatar Airways Doha [84]
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh [85]
Singapore Airlines Singapore [86]
SpiceJet Chennai, Delhi, Dubai–International, Hyderabad, Mumbai [87]
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike [88]
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang [89]
Thai Airways International Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi [90]
Thai Lion Air Bangkok–Don Mueang [91]
VietJet Air Ho Chi Minh City [92]
Vistara Bangalore, [93] Delhi, Mumbai [94]

Cargo

The following cargo airlines fly to the airport:

Statistics

Annual passenger traffic at COK airport. See Wikidata query.
Traffic by financial year
Financial YearPassengersChange from previous yearAircraft operationsCargo tonnage [95]
2022-238,812,531Increase2.svg86.8%58,27856,773
2021-224,717,777Increase2.svg91.9%22,92955,484
2020-212,458,458Decrease2.svg74.5%24,912N/A
2019-209,624,334Decrease2.svg4.9%66,106N/A
2018-1910,201,089Increase2.svg0.75%71,057N/A
2017-1810,172,839Increase2.svg13.6%68,77276,274
2016-178,955,441Increase2.svg16.4%61,68881,485
2015-167,749,901Increase2.svg21.0%56,18079,233
2014-156,411,711Increase2.svg19.0%52,79364,935
2013-145,390,000Increase2.svg10.0%47,07254,440

Security

Cochin International Airport is listed among the 12 major airports of India. Its safety and security is handled by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security through the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Cochin was the third international airport and the first private airport in the country to come under the cover of CISF in 2001,[ citation needed ] after the Government of India decided to hand over airport security to CISF in the wake of the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814. Security was handled by the Kerala Police; Special Branch of Kochi Police before the CISF. The airport company's Aviation Safety Wing (ASW) oversees security facilities and equipment. The ASW is also responsible for fire and emergency services.[ citation needed ]

Security management training is provided by CIAL's Aviation Academy and personnel are employed by the company as security agents – deployed in baggage screening rooms, entry gates, the general cargo area and the lounge areas. CIAL ASW employs Army-trained sniffer dogs to check for explosives in baggage areas, the only Indian airport to have such a facility. [96] CIAL has introduced three state-of-the-art ION scanning detectors that can identify small amounts of material, down to nanograms, of explosives. [97]

The airport is under the direct protection of the Kochi City Police, who have a station outside the terminal. CISF maintains two armed squadrons and one bomb detection and disposal squad. [98] CISF has a command center 250metres outside the terminal, with an intelligence division and mobilisation cell. The air customs division operates a narcotics detection squad in the terminal. The CIAL ASWs are working on installing a fully automated perimeter intrusion detection system that will detect any possible violation, using sensors that will provide critical time for the security forces to react. Phase one of the intrusion prevention system is in place with barricades, automatic retractable bollards, surveillance cameras, parking gate management systems and the introduction of biometric ID cards for staff. [99]

The immigration department is handled by Kerala Police, Special Branch officials trained by the Bureau of Immigration. [100]

The airport company also has a high-end robotic security system capable of remote-handling of explosive devices and fire-fighting and hostage situations. The system is operational from September 2014, making CIAL the first in South India to have such a facility. It comprises safety robots developed by Canada-based Pedsco Ltd. and Threat Containment Vessel (TCV) and sophisticated luggage containment vehicle – both developed by Nabco, USA. The main equipment of the system is a threat containment vessel (TCV) carried by robots, which is capable of containing a blast of minimum 8 kg of TNT or equivalent quantity of explosive, triggered by suspected luggage including chemicals, radioactive materials and bombs. The container is reusable as it withstands repeated detonations and size of the TCV can be adjusted with the size of the suspected baggage. In addition to TCV, the technology also comprises a remote mobile Investigator (RMI)-9WT, which is a multipurpose six-wheel vehicle with removable tracks for step climbing capability. Using fixed arm extenders, the robot can be configured for different applications such as under car searches and second-store window access. [101]

Education and training

Since 2008, CIAL has been the first airport to venture into providing higher education in aviation management and technical areas to overcome the shortage of skilled manpower in the aviation industry. [102] CIAL has teamed up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to start two schools in aviation education.[ citation needed ]

CIAL Aviation Academy provides two-year management degrees in aviation and airport management, operations, economics, finance and human resources, along with short-term aviation oriented vocational diplomas. The academy also trains technical manpower required for airport operations. Air India Express has its temporary stewards grooming and training center in the facility. [103] [104]

Aviation Security Training Institute – The Aviation Security Training Institute (ASTI), envisioned by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has been inaugurated in February 2014. The institute has state-of-the-art facilities like X-ray simulators (21), explosive model room, two classrooms with LCD projectors and other training infrastructures. Explosive model rooms display different types of switch mechanism to trigger explosion. Library consists of CDs, catering to International Civil Aviation With the establishment of ASTI in Kochi, employees and management personnel from Mangalore, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram airports can take training here. Employees of the proposed Kannur international airport are also likely to be trained here. [105]

Ground transportation

CIAL is located between National Highway 544 (NH 544), one of the main highways of South India, and the Main Central Road (MC Road), one of the State Highways of Kerala. An expressway is planned from NH 49 to the MC Road to facilitate faster transport. [106] Though the main railway line is only about 500 meters from the airport, the nearest station is Angamaly about 8 km away.[ citation needed ]

Air-taxi services

Cochin airport has dedicated air-taxi services for passengers to travel to major pilgrim destinations in Kerala as well as to cities like Trivandrum and in northern Kerala like Kozhikode.[ citation needed ] In association with Bharat Airways, it provides scheduled air-taxi services to Sabarimala. [107]

CIAL Aerotropolis

One of the main projects for the future of the airport was the CIAL Aerotropolis, or Airport City, with a total area of 202 hectares (500 acres). [108] [109] The Aerotropolis was proposed by its founder, V.J. Kurien, to ensure additional revenue sources for the growth of the company and to increase airport traffic through tourism and allied activities. The Aerotropolis first began in Nedumbassery and nearby villages, aimed to convert into a self-sustainable town, with the airport forming the core element with a residential zone. Work on the Aerotropolis commenced in 2007, and most of the aerotropolis has been completed, as of 2023.[ citation needed ]

Part of the airport's solar power plant Solar Plant powering the Cochin International Airport.jpg
Part of the airport's solar power plant

Manufacturing and business zone

The master plan envisages the creation of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for aircraft-allied industries, especially spare parts and OEM manufacturing units, an airline research and development center, workshops and service zones. In addition to this an Information Technology Park, with dedicated airline support technology, design and development centers is also proposed. An integrated logistics center and central container freight station are planned at the cargo village. [110]

CIAL's proposal for establishing the SEZ was approved by the Board of Approval of SEZs in 2008; however, work is yet to start due to the global recession. The project is estimated was started in August 2011, and some parts are completed, as of 2023.[ citation needed ]

CIAL solar power project

The CIAL Solar Power Project is a 15  megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) power station built by CIAL. Cochin International Airport became the first fully solar-powered airport in the world with the commissioning of the plant. [111] [112]

The plant comprises 46,150 solar panels laid across 18 ha (45 acres) near the international cargo complex, and was installed by the German-based Bosch. It is capable of generating 50,000 units of electricity daily, and is equipped with a supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA), through which remote monitoring is carried out. The project components include PV modules of 265  watt-peak (Wp) capacity manufactured by Renesola, and inverters of 1 MW capacity manufactured by ABB India. [113]

The plant is coupled with a 1.1 MW solar plant that was commissioned in 2013, the first megawatt scale installation of a solar PV system in Kerala. This plant was installed by Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt. Ltd., consisting of 4,000 monocrystalline modules of 250 Wp and 33 string inverters of 30 kW capacity each. [114]

CIAL has doubled solar production to 28.8 MW of power production within 2 years as part an ambitious plan to expand solar power, with 3 major projects under construction. The first came up over a 3.4 km-long (2.1 mi) canal close to the airport, the second was through development of India's first solar carport roof utility plan and the third will use ground level panels on open space near the airport. [115]

Accidents and incidents

2018 Kerala floods

As a consequence of 2018 Kerala floods, the airport was closed 1429 August 2018. Water in the Periyar, which flows 500 metres (1,640 ft) away from the airport, rose to 1,433 mm (4.7 ft) during these days. [120] The runway and other facilities were non-functional due to excessive flooding and inclement weather. [121] Flights to Kochi were diverted to and were operating from other airports in the state like Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. [122] [123] [124] From 20 August 2018, INS Garuda (a naval airbase in Kochi) was used as a civilian airport for small aircraft operations to neighbouring cities like Bangalore, Chennai, and Coimbatore. [125] [126] [127] The airport reopened on 29 August 2018, 14:00 Indian Standard Time (UTC+05:30). [128] It suffered an estimated loss of 3 billion (US$38 million) during the closed period. [129] [130] [131]

2019 Kerala floods

As a consequence of 2019 Kerala floods, water flooding the runway due to the heavy rains led to temporary suspension of airport operations from 8 August 2019 to 12:00 Indian Standard Time on 11 August 2019. [132]

Awards and accolades

Cochin International Airport achieved major international recognition in 2015 when it became the first fully solar-powered airport in the world. In 2017, it also became the first airport in the world to implement a solar carport, a parking bay with rooftop solar panels. The airport was selected as "the best non-metro airport in India" in 2016 by the Air Passengers Association of India. [133] The airport has also won numerous awards for energy conservation, productivity and infrastructure. [134] In July 2018, the airport was selected for the Champion of the Earth award, the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations. [10]

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rajiv Gandhi International Airport</span> International airport serving Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is an international airport that serves Hyderabad, the capital of the Indian state of Telangana. It is located in Shamshabad, about 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of Hyderabad and it was opened on 23 March 2008 to replace Begumpet Airport, which was the sole civilian airport serving Hyderabad. It is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. Built over an area of 5,500 acres (2,200 ha), it is the largest airport of India by area. It is owned and operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), a public–private consortium. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad was the first airport in India to launch domestic e-boarding facility in December 2015 and international e-boarding facility in October 2020. It has also ranked in AirHelp's list of top 10 airports in the world. The fourth busiest airport in India by passengers traffic, it handled almost 21 million passengers and over 140,000 tonnes of cargo between April 2022 and March 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vadodara Airport</span> Domestic airport in Vadodara, Gujarat, India

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport</span> International airport serving Guwahati, Assam, India

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is an international airport serving Guwahati, the largest city of North-East India in Assam, India. It is the primary airport of North-East India, and the 12th busiest airport in India. It is located at Borjhar, 26 km (16 mi) from Dispur, the capital city of Assam and 28 km (18 mi) from Guwahati. It is named after Gopinath Bordoloi, a freedom fighter and the first Chief Minister of Assam after India's independence. The airport is managed by Airports Authority of India and serves as an Indian Air Force base.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiruchirappalli International Airport</span> International airport in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India

Tiruchirappalli International Airport is an international airport serving Tiruchirappalli in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The airport, spread over an area of 702.02 acres (284.10 ha), is located on National Highway 336, about 5 km (3.1 mi) south of the city centre. As of 2022, it is 31st busiest airport in India for passengers handled and 11th busiest for total international aircraft movement. It is the third busiest airport within Tamil Nadu in terms of total passenger traffic, after Chennai and Coimbatore.

Air India Cargo was a cargo airline, it was the freight carrying subsidiary of Air India, based in Mumbai. It operated freighter aircraft services off and on at different stages of its history, the latest being from 2006 to 2012. Although the company has stopped operating as an airline it continues to manage the belly cargo hold capacity of Air India's passenger fleet.

Nettoor is a region in the city of Kochi. It is around 5 km (3.1 mi) from Vytilla Junction and around 8 km (5.0 mi) from Ernakulam Junction Railway Station. Nettoor is located on Panangad Island and is a part of Maradu Municipality.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kannur International Airport</span> International Airport in Kannur, Kerala, India

Kannur International Airport is an international airport serving the city of Kannur and the North Malabar region of Kerala, Kodagu district of Karnataka and Mahé district of Puducherry in India. It is located 28 km (17 mi) east of Kannur, and 24 km (15 mi) east of Thalassery, near the municipality of Mattannur in Thalassery taluka of Kannur district. It is owned and operated by Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL), a public–private consortium. The airport opened for commercial operations on 9 December 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muscat International Airport</span> International airport in Seeb, Oman

Muscat International Airport, formerly Seeb International Airport, is the main international airport in Oman and is located in Seeb, 32 km from the old city and capital Muscat within the Muscat metropolitan area. The airport serves as the hub for flag carrier Oman Air and Oman's first budget airline, Salam Air, and features flights to several regional destinations as well as some intercontinental services to Asia, Africa and Europe.

Air Kerala is a proposed airline promoted by the Government of Kerala, registered as a subsidiary of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL). In March 2015, the board of directors of the airline decided to defer the start of commercial operations until a clear picture of relevant government rules emerged.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Civil aviation in India</span>

Civil aviation in India, the world's third-largest civil aviation market as of 2020, traces its origin back to 1911, when the first commercial civil aviation flight took off from a polo ground in Allahabad carrying mail across the Yamuna river to Naini.

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