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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Terminal may put development on fast track

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Prime Minister to dedicate facility to the nation today

C. Ratheesh kumar

Better amenities: The new terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram airport. —

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The world-class terminal at the international airport here, to be dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, is expected to trigger development of the capital and the tourism and IT sectors.

The proposed aircraft maintenance base of Air India that is coming close to the terminal and the Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology, which has emerged as an institute of repute to mould pilots, and proximity to Technopark, Vizhinjam and the IT corridor are going to be the other advantages for the airport. The international flight operations from the terminal will commence later this month, Airport Director G. Chandramouli said.

Transport hub

Billed as one of the most technologically and architecturally advanced terminals of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in non-metro cities, the Rs.300-crore terminal, has all the potential to be developed as a multi-modal transport hub.

On being integrated with other modes of transport such as rail, road and inland waterways, as mooted by the AAI, passengers will get seamless transport in their chosen mode. It will be one of the few airports in the world and the first in the country to have all the four modes of transport.

The three-storey terminal building has come up on the Chakka side. Various green building concepts, such as energy-efficient systems and variable frequency drives, have been provided for lighting, air-conditioning and air-handling devices.

The work, fully funded by the AAI, was taken up by the Chennai-based Consolidated Construction Consortium. The 19-metre high building has all modern facilities, including escalators and elevators, a flight information system and central air-conditioning.

The terminal can handle 1,600 passengers at a time. The annual capacity is 18 lakh passengers.

The in-line X-ray baggage inspection system has been integrated with the departure conveyor system.

Inclined arrival baggage claim carousels, closed-circuit television for surveillance and check-in counters with common user terminal equipment are among the facilities.

The complex has 30 check-in counters, 14 immigration counters, eight customs counters, three baggage claim conveyors, two security gates, a bus lounge and a Rs.5-crore sewerage system.

Three glass aerobridges have been procured from Indonesia. The parking bays, constructed at a cost of Rs.14.5 crore, have been integrated with the existing 3,398-metre runway.

The Rs.80.58-crore second phase of the Rs.245.58-crore terminal complex was taken up along with the first phase.

An additional 8,000 sq. m of floor area was added with the lateral extension of the building by 27 m on the Karali side and 40 m on the Chakka side. With this, the total floor area has gone up to 32,2000 sq.m. In the Rs.165-crore first phase, the Rs.115-crore terminal building, an apron and a car park for 575 cars was taken up.

A 220-metre six-lane bridge and two exclusive ramps linking them from Chakka and Eenchakkal, constructed at a cost of Rs.21.73 crore by KITCO, connects the terminal to the NH bypass.

Labour disputes, non-availability of construction materials, unseasonal rain and delay on the part of the State to construct the approach road led to the revision of the deadline for the completion of the project scheduled for December 2008.

Though the project was completed in April 2010, a row between the State and the Centre over inauguration, complaints over the lack of space by the national carrier led to the delay in commissioning.

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