Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today opened Cochin International Airport Limited’s new integrated international passenger terminal for commercial operation. The Chief Minister received passengers and crew who arrived at the new airport Terminal 3 via a Jet Airways flight from Muscat to Kochi in the evening.
The first flight which arrived at the new terminal was received by ‘water salute’ as per tradition. The Chief Minister lauded the CIAL, the country’s first airport built under PPP model, which has scripted a new chapter in aviation history by becoming the first in the world that completely operates on solar power. He said CIAL’s success proves that big infrastructure can be built with public participation in the state.
The foundation stone for the project was laid in Februrary 2014 by then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in view of growth in passenger traffic through CIAL. The terminal, having a built up area of 15 lakh sq ft, was inaugurated in February last year. It is having a peak hour capacity of 4000 passengers, according to a CIAL release.
Till the launch of the new international terminal, the CIAL had the capacity to handle only five aircraft to international locations.
Some features of the new terminal include finger pier concept to handle 13-15 aircraft through aerobridges during peak operation and elevated road approach to departure level. It is also having a 25m wide corridor with landscape and connectivity to departure.
The international terminal, currently operational at the airport, will become part of the existing domestic terminal after the new Terminal-3 becomes fully functional. Vijayan also inaugurated the the 4.3 km long four-lane road connecting the airport and National Highway at Athani near Aluva and also the expansion of the CIAL’s solar power capacity from 15.5 MW to 21.5 MW.