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Cochin International Airport also known as Nedumbassery Airport and CIAL, is the

largest and busiest airport in Kerala, located at Nedumbassery, 25 km (16 mi) north of
Kochi, in India. For the period of Apr 2006 to Dec 2010, it was the seventh busiest airport
in the country in terms of overall passenger traffic and fourth busiest in terms of
international passenger traffic.[3][4][5][6] The airport is the primary base for Air India
Express operations and it is a focus city for GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetLite, SpiceJet
and Kingfisher Airlines.

Cochin International Airport is the first airport in the country through public-private
partnership venture. The airport pioneered the concept of private investment in Airport
sector by incorporating it as a public limited company and it received investments from
nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries.[7]

The airport handled 3.9 million passengers and had air traffic movements (ATM) of
about 411 per week for the year 2009-10. The airport handles around 799 aircraft per
week with 10,800 passengers each day.[8] Eight domestic airlines and 16 international
airlines connect Kochi with nearly 40 destinations nationally and internationally.

Contents
[hide]

• 1 History
• 2 Construction
o 2.1 Expansion
• 3 Management
• 4 Infrastructure
o 4.1 Terminals
 4.1.1 Domestic
 4.1.2 International
 4.1.3 Cargo
o 4.2 Air traffic control
o 4.3 Runway
o 4.4 Helipads
• 5 Airlines and destinations
o 5.1 Passenger airlines
o 5.2 Cargo airlines
• 6 Services
o 6.1 Passenger services
o 6.2 Aviation services
• 7 Education and training
• 8 Ground transportation
o 8.1 Heli-taxis
o 8.2 Buses
o 8.3 Taxis
• 9 Incidents and accidents
• 10 References

• 11 External links

History
The original air facilities in Kochi were an aerodome and airstrip at Willingdon Island.
These facilities were built in 1936 by the British Residency of Kochi Kingdom, and were
intended to transport British officials involved in the development of Cochin Port. The
airstrip was converted into a military airport by the Royal Indian Navy during World War
II. The military facility hosted naval fighter planes and was intended to thwart possible
Japanese air-raids over Kochi.

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 facilitate international transportation to Kochi in the interests of Malayalees
working in the Middle East.[citation needed]

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.
A new airport was built near Kochi instead in 1991.[9]

Construction

VT-AXE of Air India Express Parked at the International Terminal

The original proposal for the airport outlined an estimated cost of 100 crore (US$22.2
million) and an expected date of commission in 1997. This was approved by the
authorities in May 1993. The funding was envisaged to be from interest-free loans from
non-resident Indians working abroad, donations from major industrial undertakings,
small scale units, 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. Later, for the
purpose of 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$19.98 million)[10]

A total of 1,500 acres (6,100,000 m2) acres of land was acquired for the construction of
the airport. Around 2,300 land owners and 872 families were resettled under a
rehabilitation package.[11] Major electric lines and an irrigation canal had to be diverted
for the construction.

The facility was formally inaugurated by the President of India on 25 May 1999 and the
first commercial service began on 10 June 1999. The operations from the old Naval
Airport were shifted on 1 July 1999.[9]

Expansion

The airport while at the time of opening had 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2) built up floor
space. CIAL has mapped for six phases over a period of 20 years for the growth of the
terminal, out of which the airport has completed its third phase in 2009. Most of the
expansions happened in international terminals, as more than 78% of the traffic is for
international sector. In 2002, the original airport's floor area was subsequently increased
to 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2), by expanding international departures block.

With the rising number of airlines, CIAL decided to construct an exclusive terminal for
international arrivals[12] which increased the floor space to 420,000 sq ft (39,000 m2)
thereby increasing passport controls and baggage carousels in addition expanding floor
space for international departures. As part of phase two, an airline center complex of area
58,000 sq ft (5,400 m2) was opened to accommodate offices of airlines operating from the
airport and CIAL administrative offices, constructed at western side of the terminal. The
expansion works of cargo terminal also took place in second phase.

Work on the third phase started in 2007, which was meant to accommodate a passenger
capacity 5 million annually.[13] The third phases envisioned commissioning of a central
block connecting between 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 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2).[14] The airside of
international arrivals and departures blocks were integrated and given with glass based
walls to allow more natural light. The runway was re-carpeted in 2008 and reinforced for
holding more pressure on it.[15] The remote parking bays were increased from 12 to 18
including 2 dedicated for cargo airlines. The third phase of expansion also completed the
expansion of cargo village and a second taxi-way to the MRO facility.

The fourth phase of expansion is about to start, mainly intending to upgrade domestic
terminal which was untouched in past 3 phases. The phase four activities of airport
expansion has planned to start by first quarter of next year.[16][17] This envision for an
expansion of common air side to domestic area to accommodate additional aero-bridges
and gates to the existing. The domestic terminal is planned to expand with a dedicated
domestic arrivals terminal similar to arrivals-international terminal, on the eastern side,
while converting the existing domestic terminal completely for domestic departures. This
would increase the floor area to another 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2). A suggestion for
integrating domestic and international departures is proposed and the company is
studying for interior redesigning to accommodate integrated check-in facilities. The
passport control is planned to expand to 45 in International departures as well as 10
additional passport control counters in International arrivals. The proposal of increasing
baggage carousel to 7 in International terminal is pending for final decision.[16]

Management
The airport is the first in India to be built in public–private partnership and owned by a
public limited company called Cochin International Airport Limited, better known as
CIAL, floated by Government of Kerala in 1994. The Kerala Government owns a stake
of 33.36%,[18] a consortium of corporate houses like Abu Dhabi based Emke Group,
Oman based Galfar Group, UAE based Majeed Bukatara Trading, Kochi based Synthite
Group and several local business firms, hold a significant stake. Central Government
enterprises like Air India, BPCL, AAI etc. and Scheduled commercial banks like Federal
Bank, SBT, Canara Bank etc. also own stake in the company. The remaining stake by
general public and private individuals.[19] Over 10,000 investors from 29 countries,
mostly non resident Indians, hold shares in the company.[20] In the financial year 2009-10,
the airport recorded a gross income of 211.63 crore (US$46.98 million), a growth of
22.3% over the previous year. The profit after tax was 77.51 crore (US$17.21 million),
which was a growth of 30.7% over the previous year.[21]

The Chief Minister of Kerala (V. S. Achuthanandan at present) is the ex-officio chairman
of CIAL. Former HAL chairman and aviation expert, Dr. CG Krishnadas Nair is the
Managing Director of the company.

Infrastructure

The aerial shot of Cochin Airport with major domestic airlines lined at apron
Air India Express Boeing 737-800 taxiing towards runway.

Terminals

Domestic

The waiting area at the Depatrure Gates

The domestic terminal has an area of 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) designed to handle up to
500 passengers at peak hour. The departure hall has 20 Common Use Terminal
Equipment (CUTE) enabled check-in counters including 5 premium check-in counters. It
also has 5 security gates and a common waiting area that can accommodate 400
passengers at a time. A family lounge and a premium lounge for business class
passengers is also present. A children's play area and small food court is housed in
waiting area. Four gates and one jetway facility is available for domestic passengers. The
arrival hall has 2 baggage carousels.

International
Check-in counters at International Terminal

The international terminal covers an area of 478,000 sq ft (44,400 m2). Both the departure
and arrival halls of the international terminal are designed to accommodate 1500 people
each at any given time.[citation needed] The departure hall is equipped with 37 CUTE enabled
check-in counters including 5 premium check-in. The airport is the fifth airport in India
to install advanced in-line baggage screening systems replacing conventional x-ray based
manual screening.[22][23] It also has 30 passport control counters, 10 security gates and 6
customs counters. There are two premium lounges for first and business class passengers.
There are 8 gates and 4 jetways. The arrival hall has 23 passport control counters and 4
baggage carousels.

Cargo

Cochin Airport has a dedicated cargo village located on eastern side of the airport
complex. The cargo center is one of the largest facilities in the country, with three
complexes, with total built-up space of 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) in 50 acres (200,000
m2) of land. The cargo terminal has handled around 40,000 MT last year[which?], with more
than 25% growth.[citation needed] There are three complexes in the cargo village:

• Center 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.[24]

• Center for Perishable Cargo (CPC), which is the largest dedicated cold storage
center for perishable goods in the country, has an area of about 22,000 sq ft
(2,000 m2) built-up area and can handle aound 25,000 metric tonnes to cargo. It
was commissioned in 2008 at a cost of 38 crore (US$8.44 million) jointly by
CIAL, Government of India through Agricultural and Food Promotion Export
Development Authority (APEDA) and Government of Kerala.[25]

• Transshipment Cargo Complex and a dedicated warehouse is allocated for the


transshipment cargo. The Import as well as export cargo from the Customs
warehouses in the catchments areas as well as airports like Chennai and
Bangalore, Coimbatore etc. are handled and stored at this centre for export from
CIAL.[24]
In addition, an exclusive domestic cargo complex is also constructed for private domestic
logistics firms and India Post services.

Air traffic control

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The air traffic control (ATC) tower 45 m (148 ft) tall. Cochin ATC controls flights flying
below an altitude of 15,000 ft (4,600 m). The airport has an Instrument landing system
(ILS) in DME category and for all communications between flight cockpit and ATC. The
ATC uses doppler VHF omni range I and II.

Runway

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may be challenged and removed. (January 2011)

With a 3,400 m (11,200 ft) long runway and 45 m (148 ft) wide. The runway is equipped
to operate any type of aircraft in commercial service. It was the second longest runway in
India until the opening of the new Hyderabad airport in 2008. It has a full length parallel
taxiway of 3,400 m (11,200 ft). The runway is spread over the panchayat areas of
Nedumbasserry, Sreemoolanagaram and Kanjoor.

Helipads

Cochin Airport has one heli-pad for dedicated use of helicopters, meant for air-taxi
purposes. Plans for constructing an Heliport is underway.[26]

Airlines and destinations


Passenger airlines

Airlines Destinations Terminal


Air Arabia Sharjah International
Air India Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram Domestic
Air India Jeddah, Riyadh, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Sharjah International
Air India Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai,
International
Express Kozhikode, Kuwait, Mumbai, Muscat, Salalah, Sharjah
Air India
Agatti, Chennai Domestic
Regional
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur International
Bahrain Air Bahrain International
Emirates Dubai International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi International
GoAir Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai Domestic
Gulf Air Bahrain International
Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata,
IndiGo Domestic
Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram
Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai,
Jet Airways Domestic
Vishakhapatnam
Jet Airways Doha, Muscat, Sharjah International
JetLite Delhi, Hyderabad Domestic
Kingfisher
Agatti, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Mumbai Domestic
Airlines
Kuwait Airways Kuwait International
Oman Air Muscat International
Qatar Airways Doha International
Saudi Arabian
Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh International
Airlines
SilkAir Singapore International
SpiceJet Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai Domestic
SriLankan
Colombo International
Airlines

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Air India Cargo Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai
Blue Dart
Chennai
Aviation
Deccan 360 Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Nagpur[27]

Services
Passenger services

Shopping
Main article: Cochin Duty Free

Logo of Cochin Duty Free

In pursuit of earning more non-aeronautical revenue, CIAL has set up more shopping
facilities. The Cochin Duty-free in International terminal is the first full-scale duty free
shops in India and one of the largest managed Alpha Kreol, a joint venture between
Alpha UK and Kreol Middle East. The arrival hall has large duty-free shopping area of
13,000 sq ft (1,200 m2) spread over two floors with large collections of leading liquor
brands, perfumes, chocolates, handicrafts, watches, books and electronics. A gold and
platinum jewellery also operates in the duty free. The departure block duty free is under
construction, though a last-minute shopping counter of 2,000 sq ft (190 m2), functions for
passengers to buy select liquor brands, chocolate, perfumes, ethnic handicrafts, spices etc.
A bookshop operated by Sankars Bookstore and ethnic Indian Khādī products promoted
by KVIC Kerala selling traditional Kerala souvenirs and Khadi clothes also operate.

A large shopping arcade is provided in departure hall of domestic terminal which has
several stores selling traditional Kerala specialties and apparels.[28]

A 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) departure duty free terminal is under construction, with
2,000 sq ft (190 m2) food-court, a wellness spa and 2 fine restaurants and a sports bar.
The departure duty free is expected to open by October 2011. It is planned to setup a
handicraft retail shop on the lines with "Dilli Haat" (िदलली हात) at New Delhi.[29]

Food and beverages

There is a large multi-cuisine fine restaurant operated by Taj-SATs inside departure hall
of international terminal. Apart from this, several small cafes and sandwich counters
operate in both domestic and international terminal. A large cafe operated by Cafe Coffee
Day and mini food court operates in waiting lounge of domestic terminal. A food court is
under construction in international terminal.

Hospitality

Cochin International Airport has 5 airport hotels within 200 m from the terminal
complex, including a premium luxury resort, all operated by private firms with business
tie-ups with various airlines operating from Cochin Airport. A premium five star 120-
room Airport hotel owned and operated by operated by Abu Dhabi based Emke Group,
under JW Marriott brand is under construction. In addition the company is planning to
award another premium luxury hotel resort and international convention center facility
near Airport Golf club, for which tenders have been issued.[30]

The airport company has ventured into tourism and hospitality sector, through a wholly
owned subsidiary, CIAL Tours and Tourism Limited (CTTL).[31] CTTL provides
customized tour packages, holiday services and conduct air-charter service with
collaboration of Bharat Airways, Deccan Aviation and K-Air Charters.[citation needed]

Lounges

• Oberoi CIP Lounge for VIPs and Business Class passengers in Domestic
departures
• CIAL VIP Room for VIPs in domestic arrivals
• Oberoi Lounge for First and business class passengers in International departures
• CGH Earth Executive Lounge refreshment center for business class passengers
in International departures
• Taj-Sats Lounge for reserved and paid passengers in International departures
• CIAL Suites for early and transit passengers

Aviation services

Ground handling

The ground control is handled by 3 companies, namely NACIL Ground Services, Bird
Worldwide Flight Services-BWFS and Livewel Aviation Services. Cochin International
Aviation Services (CIAS), a subsidiary of CIAL, is also expected to join soon for ground
handling operations.[when?]

Fuel supply

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has been awarded the exclusive rights to
constrict and operate the hydrant refuelling system at the Cochin International Airport.
BPCL has provided full fledged state-of-the-art aircraft refuelling facilities at this airport.
1400 m long pipeline from fuel depot to the last aircraft parking bay ensures direct fuel
connectivity. Each aircraft parking bay will have two numbers of hydrant pit box, pit
valve and emergency isolation valve of international standards confirming to API/IP
standards. A modern large fully automated tank farm is also commissioned within
Airport area.

A project on laying of underground pipelines to transport Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF)


directly from BPCL Kochi Refinery is under construction. Pipelines stretching about
33 km, originating from the refinery to the aircraft turbine fuel station of BPCL. The
project is estimated to cost Rs. 40 crore. The facility is expected to be operational from
April 2011.

Once the fuel reaches the tanks at the airport station of BPCL, it will be transported again
through underground pipes to the aircraft parking bay where refuelling is done. The
launching of the project would mark the beginning of a new chapter in the refinery's
supply of fuel to the airport as there will be no need to depend on trucks for transport.
The avoidance of fuel tankers on the road provides a promising step in decongesting the
city roads.

BPCL also provides refuelling for all airport vehicles as well as passenger vehicles
through its main petrol station outside the terminal.

Flight kitchen and caterers

Cochin Airport has issued operating permits to Casino Air Flight Services (CAFS), Saj
Flight Kitchen and TAJ-SATS Flight services to provide in-flight catering services to all
airlines operating at Cochin. In addition Lulu-Oberoi Inflight Catering services and
Ambassador Sky-Chef are scheduled to start their services by July 2012.

Maintenance, repair and overhaul

Cochin airport through its subsidiary, Cochin International Aviation Services Limited
(CIASL), has commissioned 135,000 sq ft (12,500 m2) built up maintenance, repair and
overhaul (MRO) facility on a property of 32 acres (130,000 m2), at an initial cost of 80
crore (US$17.76 million). The first phase includes hangars for two narrow-body aircraft
with facilities for line maintenance run-up bay, workshops, aircraft parking and a taxi-
way link. The second phase proposes an additional two narrow body hangars along with
two wide-body hangars, more parking bays and workshops. The component MRO will
cover the areas of wheels and brakes, electrical and avionics, hydraulics, safety
equipment, cabin interiors, engine storage and support, also with scope for further
expansion. CIASL is in talks with an American Aircraft maintenance company for joint
partnership. Air India has expressed its interest in partnering with CIASL for having an
additional MRO facilities for its flights. With this project, CIASL proposes to attract
large-scale investments from leading OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and
hopes to reach out to cargo operators and business jets, especially from the growing
markets of India, West Asia and South-East Asia.[32]

Education and training


Since 2008, Cochin Airport has ventured into providing higher education in field of
aviation management and technical areas, to overcome shortage of skilled manpower in
the aviation industry. The Cochin Airport is the first airport in India to start professional
higher education.[33] Cochin International Airport Services Limited (CIASL), a wholly
owned subsidiary of Cochin Airport has tied up with Indira Gandhi National Open
University (IGNOU) to start two schools in area of aviation education:

• CIAL Aviation Academy provides 2 year long management degree in field of


aviation and airport management, operations, economics, finance and human
resources, along with short-term aviation oriented vocational diplomas.[34][35]

• CIAL AME Institute provides 3 year long technical diplomas and engineering
degrees in field of aircraft maintenance engineering and radio navigation
technology.[36]

Ground transportation
The airport is located between NH 47, one of the National Highways in South India and
MC Road, one of the State highways of Kerala. An expressway is planned from NH 49 to
MC Road to facilitate faster transport.[37] The main railway line connecting
Thiruvananthapuram with other northern parts of Kerala, transverses 500 meters near the
airport. An airport railway station has been approved by Indian Railways. It will be
situated 300 meters away from the terminal.[38] As of now, the nearest railway stations are
Angamaly and Aluva.

Heli-taxis

Cochin Airport has dedicated air-taxi services for passengers to travel to major pilgrim
destinations in Kerala as well as to cities like Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The
airport in association with Bharat Airways has started scheduled air-taxi services to
Sabarimala,[39] a Hindu pilgrim center in the state as well as non-scheduled services to
other parts of the country. Pawan Hans and K-Air Charters also operate from Cochin
Airport providing non-scheduled charter services.[40]

Buses

Buses are the primary means to connect the airport with major parts of the city. Services
are mainly operated by KSRTC which operates two class of bus services.

The nearest bus-stations are Angamaly Bus Depot and Aluva Rajiv Gandhi Municipal
Bus Station from where mofussil, inter-city and inter-state buses ply.

KSRTC AC Orange volvo lowfloor

The following is a list of bus services to and from the airport:

Service Destination[41] Frequency


KSRTC Orange Bus
601, 603 Fort Kochi via City Center 45 Minutes interval
602, 604 Aluva Interchange
Fast Passenger- Non AC
North Line Angamaly Bus Depot Interchange 5 Minutes interval
South Line Cherthala via Aluva, Vyttila 20 Minutes interval
East Line Vaikom via Vyttila, Thrippunithura 45 minutes interval
Taxis

Cochin Airport manages a fleet of its own cabs under Cochin Airport Taxi Society
(CATS), providing pre-paid and regular cab facilities providing connections to almost all
parts of the state. CATS taxis can be booked at its prepaid counters in arrival section of
both international and domestic terminals.

Incidents and accidents


• On 25 April 2010, Emirates Flight EK 530, a Boeing 777-200, from Dubai,
dropped around 18,000 feet (5,500 m) during heavy turbulence as the aircraft
entered into a thick cumulo nimbus cloud, while on its descent. 20 of the 350
passengers were injured, damage caused internally to the plane. Aircraft was on
descent to Kochi, roughly between Mumbai and Chennai air spaces when the
incident happened. There were 350 passengers and 14 crew on board.[42]

• On 26 July 2010, Kingfisher Airlines Flight IT 2482, bound to Chennai,


detected smoke[43] in its cargo hold, due to chemical reactions happened in a
chemical consignment cargo for a laboratory. Leakage from ten packets of boric
acid powder and two 100 ml. bottles of liquid detergent where packed in a single
consignment, resulted in the chemical reactions, causing smoke which triggered
attention of ground staff. It was found that, there was security lapse among the
cargo security staff to allow such a consignment reach the aircraft's cargo hold.
There were 36 passengers and 3 crew members on board. The consignment was
taken off and the flight was cleared to take-off.[44]

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