Cochin International Airport
|Cochin International Airport
|The domestic terminal of Cochin International Airport|
|IATA: COK – ICAO: VOCI
|Owner||Airports Authority of India|
|Operator||Cochin International Airport Limited|
|Opened||10 June 1999|
|Elevation AMSL||9 m / 30 ft|
|Statistics (Apr '12 - Mar '13)|
Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI) is an international airport situated in the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. Located at Nedumbassery, about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Kochi, it is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala. For the financial year 2012-13, it was the fourth busiest airport in India in international passenger traffic ferrying 2,919,707 passengers and seventh busiest in overall passenger traffic carrying 4,880,773 passengers. The airport is a primary base for Air India Express operations and is a focus city for Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet.
- 1 History
- 2 Construction
- 3 Management
- 4 Terminals
- 5 Infrastructure
- 6 Airlines and destinations
- 7 Passenger services
- 8 Fixed base operators
- 9 Security
- 10 Education and training
- 11 Ground transportation
- 12 CIAL Aerotropolis
- 13 Incidents and accidents
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The original air facilities in Kochi were an aerodome and airstrip on Willingdon Island, built in 1936 by the British Residency of Kochi Kingdom, intended for transporting 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 Royal Navy chose it as a strategic site for their headquarters in Southern India and as an air station cum landing craft and sea plane base. The military facility hosted naval fighter planes and was intended to thwart possible Japanese air raids. A small naval unit set up just two days before the outbreak of World War II.
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 develop international transportation to Kochi in the interests of expatriates working in the Middle East.
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 in 1991 instead.
The original proposal for the airport outlined an estimated cost of 100 crore (US$15 million) and an expected date of commission in 1997. Approval was granted in May 1993. The funding was envisaged to be from interest-free loans from non-resident Indians working abroad, donations from industrial undertakings, 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. To 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$14 million).
A total of 4,200 acres (17,000,000 m2) acres of land was acquired for the construction of the airport. Approximately 2,300 land owners and 872 families were resettled under a rehabilitation package. Major electric lines and an irrigation canal had to be diverted.
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 moved to CIAL on 1 July 1999.
Phase 1 and 2
The airport had 45,000 m2 (480,000 sq ft) of floor space at its inauguration. CIAL envisioned six phases of expansion over 20 years, the third phase of which was completed in 2009. Most of the expansion has occurred in the international terminal, as it accounts for more than 78% of all traffic. In 2002 the original airport's floor area had risen to 54,000 m2 (580,000 sq ft) due to the expansion of the international departures block.
With a rising number of airlines operating at the airport, CIAL decided to construct an exclusive terminal for international arrivals which increased the floor space to 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft), increasing passport controls and baggage carousels in addition to expanding the international departures floor space. As part of phase two of the expansion plans, an airline center complex of 7,500 m2 (81,000 sq ft) was constructed on the western side of the terminal to accommodate airline and CIAL's administrative offices. The cargo terminal was also expanded in the second phase.
Work on the third phase was intended to accommodate 5 million passenger movements annually and was started in 2007. The third phase involved the commissioning of a central block, connecting the 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 29,700 m2 (320,000 sq ft). The airside area of the international arrivals and departures blocks were integrated, and glass walls were installed to allow for more natural light. The runway was re-surfaced in 2008. The number of parking areas were increased from 15 to 24, including three dedicated for cargo airlines. The third phase also completed the expansion of the cargo village and a second aircraft taxi-way to the MRO facility.
The fourth phase of expansion was originally planned to upgrade the domestic terminal, which has remained untouched in the past 3 phases. However, the expansion plans were changed after the new UDF government took over the administration of the state in May 2011.
As per the announced plans, the international terminal is to be converted completely into a domestic terminal, while a new state-of-the-art international terminal is to be built. As per the new plans announced by the board of directors in September 2011, the new international terminal would come up on the eastern side of the existing structure. The built-up space of the new terminal would be 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2) having segregated departures and arrivals at different levels.  The terminal will have 16 aero-bridges and an additional 30 parking bays. The new terminal would have a capacity to handle 4800 passengers at any time. Arrivals will have 12 baggage carousels and increased immigration facilities. The new terminal is expected to be commissioned by the last quarter of 2016.
The current domestic terminal would be converted into "Royal Pavilion" and would handle VIP and private chartered flights and jets. The current international terminal, once converted into a domestic terminal, will have 5 aero-bridges and 10 boarding gates facility, apart from increased parking bays.
Cochin airport is the first in India to be built in a public–private partnership and is owned by a public limited company called Cochin International Airport Limited, better known as CIAL, floated by the government of Kerala in 1994. The government of Kerala holds 33.36% stake, making it the single largest investor in the project. Indian government companies like Air India, BPCL, AAI hold 8.74% stake, while foreign companies like Abu Dhabi based Emke Group, the Oman based Galfar Group, UAE based Majeed Bukatara Trading holds 5.42% stake. Indian companies hold 8.57% stake, while scheduled commercial banks like Federal Bank, SBT and Canara Bank holds 5.91%. The remaining 38.03% stake is held by more than 10,000 personal investors from 29 countries, mostly non-resident Indians.
The company has decided to go for public offering and giving 10 million shares to HUDCO as part of debt settlement, which would lead HUDCO having 3.37% stake in the company and reduction of stake of other holders.
CIAL is one of the most profitable airports in the country. In financial year 2012-2013, CIAL reported a profit after tax of 112 crore (US$17 million), with a gross income of 300 crore (US$46 million), with a sharp increase of 40% from the previous year.
Cochin International Airport has three terminals; one is for domestic passengers and another for international passengers. There is a cargo terminal spread over an area of 4,200 acres (1,700 ha).
The domestic terminal has an area of 9,290.30 m2 (100,000.0 sq ft) and is designed to handle up to 400 passengers at peak times. The departure hall has 26 common use terminal equipment (CUTE) enabled check-in counters, including 6 premium check-in counters, 4 self check in counters. It has 6 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 are present. A small food court is housed in the waiting area, while a restaurant operates in entry lobby. Only 4 remote gates facility are available for domestic passengers. The arrivals hall has 3 baggage carousels.
The international terminal covers an area of 37,161.21 m2 (399,999.9 sq ft) with two buildings for departures and arrivals connected inside with a corridor. The departure and arrival halls of the international terminal are designed to accommodate 1800 people each at any time. The departure hall has 42 CUTE enabled check-in counters, including 10 premium check-in counters. CIAL is the fifth airport in India to install advanced in-line baggage screening systems, replacing conventional x-ray based manual screening. It has 36 passport control counters, 12 security gates and 12 customs counters. There are four premium lounges for first class and business class passengers. There are 10 gates and 5 jetways. The arrival hall has 24 passport control counters and 4 baggage carousels.
- New International Terminal
On 8 September 2012, the director board of CIAL approved the design of the new international terminal which will cost 6 billion (US$92 million). It will have two levels, the ground level for arrivals and the top level for departures. It will be able to handle 12 million passengers annually and 4800 passengers during peak hours. It will have 16 aerobridges with a floor area of 139,354.56 m2 (1,500,000.0 sq ft). The terminal is expected to manage passenger traffic till 2030.
After the construction of the new international terminal, it is planned to convert the existing international terminal to a domestic terminal and reserve the current domestic terminal for business jets.
Cochin Airport has a dedicated cargo center on the eastern side of the complex. The cargo center is one of the largest facilities in the country with a total floor space of 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) in 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land. The cargo terminal handled around 40,000 MT last year[which?], with more than 25% growth. There are three complexes in the cargo village:
- The 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.[dead link]
- The Center for Perishable Cargo (CPC) is the largest dedicated cold storage center for perishable goods in the country. It has a floor area of about 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) and can handle approximately 25,000 metric tonnes of cargo. It was commissioned in 2008 at a cost of 38 crore (US$5.8 million) jointly by CIAL, Government of India through Agricultural and Food Promotion Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Government of Kerala.[unreliable source?]
- The Transshipment Cargo Complex is a dedicated warehouse allocated for transshipment cargo. The import and export cargo from the customs warehouses in the catchment area, as well as from airports like Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, etc., are handled and stored at this centre for export.
In addition, an exclusive domestic cargo complex has also been constructed for private domestic logistics firms and India Post services.
Air traffic control
The air traffic control (ATC) tower is 60 m (200 ft) tall. Cochin ATC controls flights below an altitude of 18,000 ft (5,500 m). The airport has an instrument landing system (ILS) using distance measuring equipment (DME). The ATC uses Doppler VHF omni range I and II.
Airport surveillance radar
The airport has signed an agreement with AAI to install an advanced airport surveillance radar (ASR) as well as monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR). In addition, a surface movement radar is to be installed for effective monitoring of flights in the runway and parking bays. The new radar system will reduce the holding time of the aircraft before landing from 12 to 3 minutes. This means that four aircraft can land within 12 minutes whereas it takes about 40 minutes for this currently. The radar will allow more accurate alignment tracking for landing of the aircraft. The radars will be installed near the runway. The radar at Cochin airport will be networked with the systems at the Chennai, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram airports. The radar, expected to cost about 2.5 million has been imported from France. Installation and testing works of ASR and MSSR was expected to be completed by March 2013.
With a length of 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and width of 54 m (177 ft), the runway is equipped to operate any type of aircraft in commercial service. It has a full-length parallel taxiway of 3,900 m (12,800 ft). The runway is spread over the panchayat areas of Nedumbasserry, Sreemoolanagaram and Kanjoor.
Cochin Airport has one helipad for dedicated use of helicopters, meant for air-taxi purposes. Plans for constructing a heliport are underway.
Airlines and destinations
|Blue Dart Aviation||Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai|
|Etihad Crystal Cargo||Abu Dhabi|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Doha|
|Saudia Cargo||Jeddah, Riyadh|
||It has been suggested that Cochin Duty Free be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since July 2011.|
In pursuit of earning more non-aeronautical revenue, CIAL has set up shopping facilities. The Cochin duty-free shop in the international terminal is the first full-scale duty-free shop in India and one of the largest managed by Alpha Kreol, a joint venture between Alpha UK and Kreol Middle East. The arrivals hall has a large duty-free shopping area of 13,000 sq ft (1,200 m2) spread over two floors. The departure block duty-free area is under construction, though a last-minute shopping counter of 2,000 sq ft (190 m2) allows passengers to buy selected products. There is a book shop and ethnic Indian Khādī products promoted by KVIC Kerala, selling traditional Kerala souvenirs and Khadi clothes.
An expanded 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) departure terminal duty-free area is under construction, with a 2,000 sq ft (190 m2) food-court and a wellness spa also operates.
- Food and beverages
The International Departures Terminal has a fine dining terrace garden lounge with a bar facility, known as Firefly, on third floor. A five-counter food court called Kochi STReat has been opened in Central Block near International Departures City side. A concourse food zone in departure security hold will be opened soon. A second multi-cuisine fine dining restaurant will be opened on the second floor as part of the premium lounge facility. There are several small cafes and sandwich counters operating in the domestic and international terminals.
The domestic departures terminal has a fine dining restaurant and lounge bar in the pre-check in area, operated by CGH. In addition a large cafe and a mini food court service is available in the waiting lounge of the domestic terminal.
An airport restaurant near the car park and food kiosks near the main block caters to greeters and visitors.
The international terminal has three lounges in the departures section. A VIP lounge exclusively for VIPs and CIPs operated by Oberoi Hotels, is near the emigration area on the ground floor. CGH operates two lounges in the international terminal. The Earth Lounge is one of the biggest in India, with 6000 sq ft of facility with dedicated bar, restaurant, private seating facility with panoramic view access to airside and shower facility. The Executive Lounge operated by CGH offers light refreshments and private seating to certain airlines and paid guests of any class. In addition, first class and business class passengers can use Firefly Terrace garden as free lounge access.
Oberoi operate an arrival lounge after immigration in arrivals side.
Six airport hotels are in 200 m from the terminal complex, including a luxury resort, apart from several hotel apartments. CIAL is planning to award contracts for a hotel resort and international convention center facility near the airport golf club, for which tenders have been issued.
Fixed base operators
The terminal handling is done by Bird Worldwide Flight Services-BWFS with Airawat Aviation Services.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has provided full-fledged state-of-the-art aircraft refueling facilities. A 1400 m long pipeline from the fuel depot to the last aircraft parking bay ensures direct connectivity. Each aircraft parking bay will have two hydrant pit boxes, pit valves, and emergency isolation valves to international API/IP[clarification needed] standards. A modern fully automated tank-farm is also commissioned within the airport area.
A project to lay underground pipelines to transport aviation turbine fuel (ATF) directly from the BPCL Kochi refinery is under construction. These pipelines will stretch about 33 km, from the refinery to the aircraft turbine fuel station. This would mean there will be no need to depend on trucks for transport. The avoidance of fuel tankers provides a promising step in decongestion of the city roads. The project is estimated to cost 40 crore (US$6.1 million) and is expected to be operational from April 2011.
BPCL provides refueling 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 Caterers & Flight Services (CAFS) to provide in-flight catering services to all airlines operating from Cochin. In addition, Lulu Flight Kitchen was scheduled to start their services by July 2012.
Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
Cochin airport, through its subsidiary Cochin International Aviation Services Limited (CIASL), has commissioned a 135,000 sq ft (12,500 m2) maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility on 32 acres (130,000 m2), at an initial cost of 80 crore (US$12 million). The first phase includes hangars for two narrow-body aircraft, with facilities for a line maintenance run-up bay, workshops, aircraft parking and a taxiway link. The second phase proposes an additional two narrow-body hangars and two wide-body hangars, more parking bays and workshops. CIASL is in the final stages of negotiations with Romania-based Aerostar for sophisticated technology tie-up for its world-class aircraft maintenance and repair facility. The MoU with the Romanian company is expected to be signed soon. 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.
Cochin International Airport is listed among the 12 major airports of India. Its safety and security is handled by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security through the Central Industrial Security Force#Airport security (CISF). Cochin was the third international airport, and the first private airport, in the country to come under the cover of CISF in 2001, after the Central Government decided to hand over airport security to CISF in the wake of the hijacking of Indian Airlines IC-814. Security was handled by the Special Branch of Kochi Police before the CISF. The airport company's Aviation Safety Wing (ASW) oversees security facilities and equipment. The ASW is also responsible for fire and emergency services.
CIAL is the only airport in the country with internally trained private security agents, specializing in intelligence gathering and passenger profiling. Security management training is provided by CIAL's Aviation Academy and personnel are employed by the company as security agents — deployed in baggage screening rooms, entry gates, the general cargo area, and the lounge areas. CIAL ASW employs Army-trained sniffer dogs to check for explosives in baggage areas, the only Indian airport to have such a facility. CIAL has introduced three state-of-the-art ION scanning detectors that can identify small amounts of material, down to nanograms, of explosives. External security in parking areas, visitors lounges, cafes and other non-sensitive areas outside the terminal are handled by a private security company.
The airport is under the direct protection of the Kochi City Police, who have a station outside the terminal. CISF maintains two armed squadrons and one bomb detection and disposal squad[where?]. CISF has a command center 250 metres outside the terminal, with an intelligence division and mobilization cell. The air customs division operates a narcotics detection squad in the terminal. The CIAL ASWs are working on installing a fully automated perimeter intrusion detection system that will detect any possible violation, using sensors that will provide critical time for the security forces to react. Phase one of the intrusion prevention system is in place with barricades, automatic retractable bollards, surveillance cameras, parking gate management systems and the introduction of biometric ID cards for staff.
Education and training
Since 2008, CIASL has been the first airport to venture into providing higher education in aviation management and technical areas to overcome the shortage of skilled manpower in the aviation industry. CIASL has teamed up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to start two schools in aviation education:
- CIAL Aviation Academy provides two-year management degrees in aviation and airport management, operations, economics, finance and human resources, along with short-term aviation oriented vocational diplomas. The academy also trains technical manpower required for airport operations. Air India Express has its temporary stewards grooming and training center in the facility.
CIAL is located between National Highway 47 (NH 47), one of the main highways of South India, and the Main Central Road (MC Road), one of the State Highways of Kerala. An expressway is planned from NH 49 to the MC Road to facilitate faster transport. Though the main railway line is only about 500 meters from the airport, the nearest station is Angamaly about 8 km away. However, an airport railway station, has been approved by Indian Railways and will be 300 meters from the terminal.
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. In association with Bharat Airways, it provides scheduled air-taxi services to Sabarimala.
Buses are the primary means to connect the airport with major parts of the city. Services are mainly operated by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation which operates two class[clarification needed] of bus services. The nearest bus-stations are Angamaly bus depot and Aluva Rajiv Gandhi Municipal bus station from where local, long-distance and inter-state buses operate.
The following is a list of bus services to and from the airport:
|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|
Cochin airport manages a fleet of its own cabs, operating as the Cochin Airport Taxi Society (CATS), providing prepaid and regular cab facilities. CATS taxis can be booked at prepaid counters in the arrivals sections of both the international and domestic terminals.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2011)|
One of the future projects for the airport is the CIAL Aerotropolis, or Airport City, with a total area of 500 acres (2.0 km2). The Aerotropolis was proposed by its founder, V.J. Kurien, to ensure additional revenue sources for the growth of the company and to increase airport traffic through tourism and allied activities. The proposed Aerotropolis will be in Nedumbassery and nearby villages, aiming to convert into a self-sustainable town, with the airport forming the core element with a residential zone. Work on the Aerotropolis commenced in 2007.
Manufacturing and business zone
The master plan envisages the creation of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for aircraft-allied industries, especially spare parts and OEM manufacturing units, an airline research and development center, workshops, and service zones. In addition to this an Information Technology Park, with dedicated airline support technology, design and development centers is also proposed. An integrated logistics center and central container freight station are planned at the cargo village.
CIAL's proposal for establishing the SEZ was approved by the Board of Approval of SEZs in 2008; however, work is yet to start due to the global recession. The project is estimated to begin by August 2011.
Phase one of the airside zone has completed with commissioning of the MRO facilities.
Incidents and accidents
- On 25 April 2010, Emirates Flight EK 530, a Boeing 777–200 from Dubai, dropped around 200 feet (61 m) during heavy turbulence as the aircraft entered a thick cumulonimbus cloud while on its descent. 20 passengers were injured and some internal damage was caused to the plane. The aircraft was on descent into Kochi, roughly between Mumbai and Chennai air spaces when the incident occurred. There were 350 passengers and 14 crew on board.
- On 25 August 2011, a 13-year-old boy was found roaming around the runway area, raising questions about the security system of the airport.
- On 29 August 2011, Gulf Air Flight GF 270, an Airbus 320 from Bahrain, carrying 137 passengers skidded off the runway at 3.55 am during its descent. The reason for the crash is suspected to be the heavy rain at the time. The aircraft had been said to have slipped off the runway and landed nose first. The aircraft broke one of its wings while landing and stalled air traffic for hours. Passengers after the crash, in chaos, were reported to have jumped from the aircraft through emergency exit doors even before stairways were brought into place. The crash caused seven minor injuries and two serious injuries due to the chaos that followed.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cochin International Airport.|
- Cochin International Airport at Airports Authority of India web site
- Cochin Airport Official Website
- Airport information for VOCI at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- Accident history for COK at Aviation Safety Network