Cochin International Airport
|Cochin International Airport|
|Owner/Operator||Cochin International Airport Limited|
|Location||Nedumbassery, Kerala, India|
|Opened||10 June 1999|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||9 m / 30 ft|
|Statistics (April 2017 - March 2018)|
Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI) is an international airport serving the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. Located at Nedumbassery, about 25 km (16 mi) northeast of the city, Cochin International Airport is the first airport in India developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model and was funded by nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries.
It is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala. As of 2017, the Cochin International Airport caters to 63.86% of the total air passenger movement in Kerala. It is also the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic and seventh busiest overall. In fiscal year 2017-18, the airport handled around 10.2 million passengers with a total of 68,898 aircraft movements. The airport is a primary base for Air India Express operations which is also headquartered in the city.
With over 2 million sq ft in area, the airport's Terminal 3 is India's fourth largest terminal. On 18 August 2015, Cochin International Airport became the world's first fully solar powered airport with the inauguration of a dedicated solar plant. On 26 July 2018, the airport was selected for the coveted Champion of the Earth award, the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations.
- 1 History
- 2 Construction
- 3 Management
- 4 Terminals
- 5 Infrastructure
- 6 Airlines and destinations
- 7 Security
- 8 Education and training
- 9 Ground transportation
- 10 CIAL Aerotropolis
- 11 Incidents
- 12 Awards and accolades
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The original air facilities in Kochi was an aerodrome and airstrip on Willingdon Island, built in 1936 by the British Residency of Kingdom of Kochi, intended for transporting British officials involved in the development of Cochin Port. The airstrip was converted into a military airport 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. The military facility hosted naval fighter planes and was intended to thwart possible Japanese air raids. A small naval unit set up operations just two days before the outbreak of World War II.
After Indian Independence, 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 transportation to Kochi in the interests of expatriates working in the Middle East.
In October 1990, the Kerala Chamber of Commerce, supported by local industry, passed a resolution to expand the naval airport to accommodate large jets and facilitate direct flights to the Middle East. The resolution was rejected by the Navy for security reasons. However, the Airports Authority of India did not have enough funds to commence a greenfield airport. This led to the formation of a novel idea of collecting funds from the public and individuals to construct an airport, which was indeed for the first time in India. The idea was put forward by K. Karunakaran, the then Chief Minister of Kerala.
The original proposal for the airport outlined an estimated cost of ₹100 crore (US$14 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, was registered in July 1993 to execute the project. To better fund mobilisation, as well as administrative convenience, a public limited company under the name Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) was registered in March 1994 with an authorised capital of ₹90 crore (US$13 million).
A total of 1,213 acres (491 hectares) of land was acquired for the construction of the airport. Approximately 2,300 landowners and 872 families were resettled under a rehabilitation package. Major electric lines and an irrigation canal had to be diverted.
The facility was formally inaugurated by the then President of India, KR Narayanan on 25 May 2000 and the first commercial service began on 10 June 2000. The operations from the old naval airport were moved to CIAL on 1 July 2000.
The airport had 18,580 m2 (200,000 sq ft) of floor space at its inauguration. CIAL envisioned six phases of expansion over 20 years, the third phase of which was completed in 2009. The original airport terminal was small enough envisioned to handle just 100 passengers at a time. However, by 2001, the international passenger traffic were growing, making necessary to redevelop the terminal.
Most of the expansion has occurred in the international terminal, as it accounts for more than 78% of all traffic. In 2002 the original airport's floor area had risen.
With a rising number of airlines operating at the airport, CIAL decided to construct an exclusive terminal for international arrivals which increased the floor space to 37,161 m2 (400,000 sq ft), increasing passport controls and baggage carousels in addition to expanding the international departures floor space. As part of phase two 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 airline and CIAL's administrative offices. The cargo terminal was also expanded in the second phase.
Work on the third phase was intended to accommodate 5 million passenger movements annually and was started in 2007. 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). 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. The number of parking areas were 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 taxi-way to the MRO facility.
The fourth phase of expansion was originally planned to upgrade the domestic terminal, which has remained untouched in the past three phases. However, the expansion plans were changed after the new UDF government took over the administration of the state in May 2011.
As per the revised plans, the international terminal is to be 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 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2) having segregated departures and arrivals at different levels.  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, duty-free shops of 40,000 square feet at departure and arrival lounges, 19 boarding gates, 15 aero bridges, six baggage conveyor belts and fully covered alighting and boarding area.
The current domestic terminal would be converted into "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 aero-bridges and 10 boarding gates facility, apart from increased parking bays.
Cochin airport is the first in India to be built in a public–private partnership and is owned by a public limited company called Cochin International Airport Limited, better known as CIAL, floated by the government of Kerala in 1994. The government of Kerala holds 33.36% stake, making it the single largest investor in the project. Indian government companies like Air India, BPCL, AAI hold 8.74% stake, while foreign companies like Abu Dhabi based Emke Group, the Oman-based Galfar Group, UAE based Majeed Bukatara Trading holds 5.42% stake. Indian companies hold 8.57% stake, while scheduled commercial banks like Federal Bank, SBT and Canara Bank holds 5.91%. The remaining 38.03% stake is held by more than 10,000 personal investors from 29 countries, mostly non-resident Indians.
The company has decided to go for public offering and giving 10 million shares to HUDCO as part of debt settlement, which would to lead HUDCO having 3.37% stake in the company and reduction of stake of other holders.
Cochin International Airport has three main terminals: two domestic and one international. There is also a cargo terminal spread over an area of 2,000 acres (810 ha).
Terminal 1 used to be an international terminal until the operations were shifted to the new international Terminal 3. The terminal covers an area of 47,000 m2 (510,000 sq ft) with two buildings for departures and arrivals connected inside with a corridor. The departure and arrival halls of the terminal are designed to accommodate 1800 people each at any time. The departure hall has 42 CUTE enabled check-in counters, including 10 premium check-in counters. CIAL is the fifth airport in India to install advanced in-line baggage screening systems, replacing conventional x-ray based manual screening. It has 36 passport control counters, 12 security gates and 12 customs counters. There are two premium lounges for first class and business class passengers. There are 10 gates and 5 jetways. The arrival hall has 24 passport control counters and 4 baggage carousels. The terminal is currently under renovation to be converted into a full-time domestic terminal which is set to open by May 2018. Once open, it will be able to handle five times the present traffic.
The domestic terminal 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. This will be shortly converted into Executive terminal once the domestic operations shifts to Terminal 1.
On 8 September 2012, the director board of CIAL approved the design of the new international terminal which will cost ₹6 billion (US$84 million). It has have two levels, the ground level for arrivals and the top level for departures. It can handle 12 million passengers annually and 4000 passengers during peak hours. It has 15 aerobridges with a floor area of 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft).
Once the new terminal was ready, the old international terminal became a domestic terminal. The existing domestic terminal will serve business jets only.
The Foundation Stone for the new terminal was laid on 2 February 2014. A formal inauguration of the terminal was done by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on 26 February 2016. The terminal opened for commercial operations on 18 April 2017.
Cochin Airport has a dedicated cargo centre on the eastern side of the complex. The cargo centre is one of the largest facilities in India with a total floor space of 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) in 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land. There are three complexes in the cargo village:
- The Centre for Dry Cargo (CDC), with an area of 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2), has a dedicated warehousing facility and air-customs inspection facility for both import and export.
- The Centre for Perishable Cargo (CPC) is the largest dedicated cold storage centre for perishable goods in India. It has a floor area of about 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) and can handle approximately 25,000 metric tonnes of cargo. It was commissioned in 2008 at a cost of ₹38 crore (US$5.3 million) jointly by CIAL, Government of India through Agricultural and Food Promotion Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Government of Kerala.[unreliable source?]
- The Transshipment Cargo Complex is a dedicated warehouse allocated for transshipment cargo. The import and export cargo from the customs warehouses in the catchment area, as well as from airports like Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, etc., are handled and stored at this centre for export.
In addition, an exclusive domestic cargo complex has also been constructed for private domestic logistics firms and India Post services.
Air traffic control
The air traffic control (ATC) tower is 60 m (200 ft) tall. Cochin ATC controls flights below an altitude of 25,500 ft (7,800 m). 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 facility. The ATC uses Doppler VHF omni range I and II.
Large-scale upgrades such as the latest AIRCON 2100 air traffic control automation system were also introduced.
Airport surveillance radar
The Airports Authority of India has installed an advanced airport surveillance radar (ASR) as well as monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR). In addition, a surface movement radar was installed for effective monitoring of flights in the runway and parking bays.
Cochin International Airport has one 3400m long runway oriented as 27/09, which can handle all types of aircraft including the Code F planes such as the super-jumbo Airbus A380. It has a full-length parallel taxiway of 3,400 m (11,200 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. The runway is spread over the panchayat areas of Nedumbasserry, Sreemoolanagaram and Kanjoor.
Cochin Airport has one helipad for dedicated use of helicopters, meant for air-taxi purposes. Plans for constructing a heliport is underway.
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, administrative office, disbursal centre, 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.
Indian Coast Guard Air Enclave
The Indian Coast Guard has taken space in CIAL to develop its second air squadron in Kochi after INS Garuda facility to improve coastal air surveillance and air related assistance.
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. which is towards last phase of construction.
Airlines and destinations
|Blue Dart Aviation||Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai|
|Etihad Cargo||Abu Dhabi|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Colombo, Doha|
|Saudia Cargo||Dammam, Hong Kong|
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, after the Central Government decided to hand over airport security to CISF in the wake of the hijacking of Indian Airlines IC-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.
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. CIAL has introduced three state-of-the-art ION scanning detectors that can identify small amounts of material, down to nanograms, of explosives.
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. CISF has a command center 250 metres outside the terminal, with an intelligence division and mobilization 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.
The immigration department is handled by Kerala Police, Special Branch officials trained by the Bureau of Immigration.
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-storey window access.
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. CIASL has teamed up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to start two schools in aviation education:
- 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.
- 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.
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. Though the main railway line is only about 500 metres from the airport, the nearest station is Angamaly about 8 km away.
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. In association with Bharat Airways, it provides scheduled air-taxi services to Sabarimala.
Buses are the primary means to connect the airport with major parts of the city. Services are mainly operated by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation which operates two classes of bus service. The nearest bus stations are Angamaly bus depot and Aluva Rajiv Gandhi Municipal bus station from where local, long-distance and inter-state buses operate.
Cochin airport manages a fleet of its own cabs, operating as the Cochin Airport Taxi Society (CATS), providing prepaid and regular cab facilities. CATS taxis can be booked at prepaid counters in the arrivals sections of both the international and domestic terminals.
Chipsan Aviation air charter services operating Helitaxi service from the airport to the various locations. Booking counter at domestic terminals.
One of the future projects for the airport is the CIAL Aerotropolis, or Airport City, with a total area of 500 acres (2.0 km2). 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 proposed Aerotropolis will be in Nedumbassery and nearby villages, aiming 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.
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.
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 to begin by August 2011.
CIAL solar power project
CIAL Solar Power Project is a 15 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station built by CIAL. Cochin International Airport became the first fully solar powered airport in the world with the commissioning of the plant.
The plant comprises 46,150 solar panels laid across 0.18 km2 (45 acres) near the international cargo complex. The plant has been installed by the Germany-based M/s Bosch Ltd. 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 265Wp capacity manufactured by Renesola, and inverters of 1MW capacity manufactured by ABB India.
The plant is coupled with a 1.1 MW solar plant that was commissioned in 2013, the first megawatt scale installation of Solar PV system in the state of Kerala. This plant was installed by Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt. Ltd., consisting of 4,000 monocrystalline modules of 250Wp and 33 string inverters of 30 kW capacity each.
CIAL plans to double the 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 which are on construction stages. The first will come up over a 3.4 km-long (2.1 mi) canal near to the airport, the second is 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.
- On 25 April 2010, Emirates Flight EK 530, a Boeing 777-200 from Dubai, dropped around 200 feet (61 m) during heavy turbulence as the aircraft entered a thick cumulonimbus cloud while on its descent. 20 passengers were injured and some internal damage was caused to the plane. The aircraft was on descent into Kochi when the incident occurred. There were 350 passengers and 14 crew on board.
- On 25 August 2011, a 13-year-old boy was found roaming around the runway area, raising questions about the security system of the airport.
- On 29 August 2011, Gulf Air Flight GF 270, an Airbus 320 from Bahrain, carrying 137 passengers skidded off the runway at 3.55 am during its descent. The reason for the crash is suspected to be the heavy rain at the time. The aircraft had been said to have slipped off the runway and landed nose first. The aircraft broke one of its wings while landing and stalled air traffic for hours. Passengers after the crash, in chaos, were reported to have jumped from the aircraft through emergency exit doors even before stairways were brought into place. The crash caused seven minor injuries and two serious injuries due to the chaos that followed.
- On 4 September 2017, Air India Express Flight IX 452, a Boeing 737-800 which arrived from Abu Dhabi, got stuck in the drain canal while taxiing to the international terminal after landing. Passengers and crew were safely evacuated. The incident happened when the pilot took a wrong turn from the parallel taxiway, almost 90 meters before the link taxiway through which the aircraft was supposed to vacate.
2018 Kerala floods
Further information: 2018 Kerala floods
As a consequence of 2018 Kerala floods, the airport was closed from 14th August 2018 for 15 days. The runway and other facilities were non-functional due to excessive flooding and inclement weather. Flights to Kochi were diverted to and were operating from other airports in the state like Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode   . From 20th August 2018, Kochi Naval airbase - INS Garuda was used as a civilian airport for small aircraft operations to neighboring cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore   . The airport reopened on 29th August 2018, 2 pm (IST) . It suffered an estimated loss of INR 220 crores (approximately $31 million) during the closed period .
Awards and accolades
Cochin International Airport has received numerous awards and accolades over the course of period. The 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 roof-top solar panels. The airport was selected as The Best Non-Metro Airport in India in 2016 by the Air Passengers Association of India. The airport has also won numerous awards for energy conservation, productivity and infrastructure. In July 2018, the airport was selected for the coveted Champion of the Earth award, the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations.
- Trivandrum International Airport
- Calicut International Airport
- Kannur International Airport
- Aranmula International Airport
- Sabarigiri International Airport
- Quilon Aerodrome
- Agatti Airport
- Airports in India
- List of busiest airports in India by passenger traffic
- CIAL Solar Power Project
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