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Rs.100 crore for airport expansion

A Correspondent


CIAL plans to widen passenger terminals and construct additional parking bays for aircraft

A duty free shopping area to be set up

on 60,000 sq.ft.


Nedumbassery: In an effort to wrest the title of ‘country’s finest airport’ from the new generation airports built at Bangalore and Hyderabad, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is all set to initiate a massive expansion drive. The CIAL will aim to cater to the expected passenger growth and will explore more avenues for income generation.

Dr. C.G. Kishnadas Nair, MD, CIAL, said that the next two years were crucial for the airport as it would spend over Rs.100 crore as part of its expansion plan. Currently, the company has an annual turnover of Rs.130 crore. Mr. Nair said that the company aims to increase its turnover in arithmetic progression, thus reaching a turnover of Rs.1,000 crore, approximately, in the tenth year from now.

As part of its expansion plans, the CIAL would widen the passenger terminals—both domestic and international—and construct additional parking bays for aircraft. The airport also plans to tap more income through sources like duty free sales and setting up an amusement zone for travellers. A duty-free shopping area would be set up on 60,000 sq.ft with thrust on the export of home-grown products like silk, spices and cashew apart from the direct outlets for jewellery and wrist watches.

Amusement zone

A mini indoor amusement zone comprising of game kiosks, food joints, snack bars along with a viewer’s gallery would be set up on its third floor.

The company officials said that the ongoing expansion works at the international terminal would be over soon and it would be open for operation from May. With the commissioning of the added space, the total area of the departure block will be around five lakh sq.ft. with 45 checks-in counters, 27 immigration counters, baggage conveyors with in-line X-ray systems and medical facilities.

The company also plans to expand the domestic terminal by constructing an exclusive arrival block on the eastern side of the terminal; the existing terminal will be converted into departure terminal. Four aerobridges will also be added to the domestic terminal ess.

The officials said that three new parking bays would be opened for operation in a month, and three more parking bays including one exclusive bay for cargo operations would be constructed by the 2009 end. The infrastructure for the largest cargo airliner (B-747-400) would also be set up here.

Conference

Further, the company also plans to organise an International Airport Conference in association with other private airports, Airport Authority of India and Airports council International with experts from the country and abroad focusing on the topic of developing airport as a commercial hub in May.

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