The construction of Terminal 3 of Cochin International Airport, which began in February, 2014 by the UDF government, will be completed in March. CIAL authorities have decided to open up the new terminal for public visits. The general public can visit the terminal from 3rd to 10th February between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors have been asked to carry an ID proof with them.
The new terminal spreads over an expanse of 15 lakh sq ft and was constructed at a cost of less than Rs. 1,000 crore, with about 30 agencies being engaged to get the work done at the fastest pace. It was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister Oomen Chandy in February, 2016, making it a golden feather in the UDF government’s cap.
The new terminal, which is estimated to double the capacity of CIAL, will have a total of 80 immigration counters, which will significantly reduce long queues for international travelers.
“CIAL has always maintained high standards with regard to customer service, infrastructure, cleanliness, etc. and could be considered as one among the very few airports across the world, which has made a mark of its own in a small span of 16 years. Last year we also became the world’s first airport to be fully powered by solar energy, which is definitely a proud moment for every one of us. Opening of terminal T3 will undoubtedly add to the airport’s glory and enhance its track record. The terminal has world-class infrastructure that etches the essence of the state and will immediately explain Kerala’s culture and tradition to a person who comes in from a foreign land,” says a CIAL official who requested anonymity.
The airport authorities have also informed that the first phase (south) of T3, which has been completed, will be capable of operating 12 aircrafts at the same time and once the second phase (north) gets over, it can operate around 25 flights at one time. With phase one, the terminal will also operate nine gates and 10 aero-bridges. The terminal will also have high-end scanning technologies installed so as to ensure complete security.
Salient features of the new international terminal are:
- Elevation to feature Kerala temple architecture
- Two-level terminal : Arrival in ground level and departure in first level
- Finger pier concept to handle 13-15 aircrafts through aero-bridges during peak operation
- Elevated road approach to departure level
- 25 m wide corridor with landscape and connectivity to departure
Compared to 2015, there has been an increase of 17.8 per cent passengers at the Cochin International Airport, of which, 49, 71,421 are domestic passengers. The airport authorities have decided to renovate the present international terminal into a domestic one in order to ensure that even domestic passengers get to experience world-class facilities.
Main photograph by Binu jayakrishnan, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.