Mission ‘Flying into Tomorrow’ – Kerala Chief Minister to launch CIAL’s 7 mega projects

By Pooja Verma Sep29,2023 #national

An artistic impression of CIAL’s Terminal 3 expansion

Inauguration of Cargo terminal, DigiYatra, Airport Emergency Services & Launching of T3 expansion, Golf tourism, PIDS & Aero Lounge

Kochi (Kerala) [India], September 29: Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the world’s first airport fully powered by solar energy and the fourth busiest airport in the country in terms of international traffic, is all set to begin a new journey of infrastructure development by unveiling 7 mega projects on a single day. Kerala Chief Minister Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate CIAL’s Import Cargo Terminal, DigiYatra software developed by CIAL & modernization of Airport Emergency Service on 02nd October 2023 at 0430 PM at a function slated to be held at CIAL cargo terminal premises. The Chief Minister will also lay the foundation stone for the first phase of the international terminal expansion plan, Golf tourism project and Aero Lounges. These Projects are ideated to endorse CIAL’s new vision of infrastructure development christened as ‘Flying into Tomorrow’. 

Check out the video at https://youtu.be/GUs73YihuAI?si=I3SKCyDdYokSK4Zu

Eyeing on cargo passenger traffic growth, the airport gears up for a massive infra-addition, including the inauguration of its huge import cargo terminal, the commencement of civil work for the phase 1 expansion of its International Terminal and the dedication of DigiYatra. These ventures, meticulously curated to propel CIAL’s trajectory towards optimal growth, stand as testaments to the airport’s visionary diversification strategy.

The projects which are scheduled to be launched are A new apron at the northern flank of the existing pier of terminal-3, sprawling over 15 lakh square feet, along with a terminal expansion spanning 5 lakh square feet; this phase heralds a substantial increase in aircraft parking bays to 44, incorporating 8 additional aerobridges. The laying of the foundation stone ceremony of the civil work of the phase-1 of this expansion plan. 

The new import cargo terminal is poised to elevate Southern India as a dominant cargo hub, catapulting CIAL’s annual cargo capacity to an impressive 2 lakh tonnes. With the commissioning of this terminal, the current international cargo space could be repurposed only for export activities, which will give a fillip to the government’s intervention in promoting the state’s farm produce. The terminal will be inaugurated, and the commencement of operation will begin immediately after obtaining clearances from regulatory agencies. 

Commencing the construction of the country’s biggest airport lounge facility, named ‘0484 Luxury Aero Lounge’, covering 50,000 square feet. This elegant transit accommodation facility offers 42 sumptuous guest rooms, bridging International, Domestic, and Business Jet Terminals with meeting spaces and workspaces, allowing seamless business operations within the airport confines. 

 CIAL’s implementation of the DigiYatra system, aiming to equip the passengers for seamless and paperless airport entry, is unique. The software used in this cutting-edge face recognition technology is developed by CIAL’s IT & Communication department. The core software platform integrates with airline and airport systems and the central DigiYatra platform. Deployed at 22 gates in the domestic terminal, with Belgium-imported e-gates, promises swift passage, eliminating manual checks.

Unveiling a state-of-the-art transformation of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Force (ARFF) to a sophisticated AES. This includes the induction of two modern Austrian-made fire tenders into the existing fleet and an array of sophisticated utility vehicles. 

Commencement of work Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) is a robust electronic surveillance enhancement programme designed to detect any unauthorized entry into the airport operational area. Covering 12 km of the perimeter wall with a Non-Lethal Power Fence, Fiber Optic Vibration Sensors, and Thermal Cameras connected to a Security Operations Control Centre (SOCC) within the Airport ensures real-time monitoring and response. 

Embarking on an ambitious project to venture into golf tourism, the state’s only 18-hole golf course, spanning 136 acres, will be utilized for hospitality service. The plan includes the development of waterfront cottages, a party/conference hall, sporting facilities, and a motel, aiming to unlock the full potential of golf tourism.

After becoming the only airport in the country to have registered a profit in the post-pandemic era, CIAL has taken up a spree of initiatives in the last couple of years. It commissioned two energy projects (a 14 MWp solar plant at Payyannur and a 4.5 MW hydro plant at Calicut) and an elegant Business Jet Terminal. 

CIAL Managing Director S.Suhas IAS said that these strategic endeavors signify a new era of development for Cochin International Airport Limited. “Cochin International Airport is on the cusp of a transformative journey, launching seven mega-projects that redefine our developmental trajectory”, said Suhas. “ We intend to cover a spectrum of enhancements from elevating passenger experience to modernization while championing green energy initiatives. These 7 strategic endeavors signify a new era for CIAL and propel us towards becoming one of the finest airports in India”, he added.

This momentous occasion marks a new era for CIAL’s infrastructure augmentation, along with reflecting its tireless pursuit of sustainable development and the advancement of green energy production. Adv. P. Rajeeve, Minister, will preside over the function. Other dignitaries, including ministers Adv. K. Rajan, Adv. P. A. Mohamed Riyas, Leader of Opposition, Sri. V.D. Satheesan, MPs, MLAs will grace the function.

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