Coimbatore International Airport (IATA: CJB, ICAO: VOCB) is the primary airport serving the city of Coimbatore in South India. It is located at Peelamedu, about 13 km (8.1 mi) from the heart of the city. Previously known as Coimbatore Civil Aerodrome, it is the 18th largest airport in India in terms of total passenger movement and 13th largest airport in terms of cargo handled.
The airport commenced operations in 1940 as a civil aerodrome with Indian Airlines operating Fokker F27, Douglas DC-3 and later Hawker Siddeley HS 748 aircraft. Beginning with services to Chennai and Bangalore, other destinations like Cochin and Mumbai were added later. The airport was modernized with an extended runway to accommodate larger aircraft like the Boeing 737 and was reopened in 1987. The Sulur Air Force Base located further east of Coimbatore was temporarily used for civil aviation during this period. As of 2012, the airport is served by more than ten domestic and international carriers.
The Prime Minister of India declared the government's intention to upgrade Coimbatore Airport to International status in a meeting with senior ministers on 6 June 2012 and the Union Cabinet granted it the status of international airport on 2 October 2012.
The airport has one runway that is 9,760 feet (2,970 m) in length extended from 8,500 ft (2,600 m) to accommodate larger aircraft. The runway is further slated to be extended to 12,500 feet (3,800 m) to handle wide bodied aircraft such as the Airbus A380. New domestic and international divisions were added in 2010 to the already existing common terminal and an Instrument Landing System (ILS) is in place since 2008. The airport has a parking management system with a capacity to accommodate nearly 300 cars. There are two hangars in the airport; one provides housing for the planes of Coimbatore Flying Club, the other provides shelter for private carriers.
Although the status of International airport was conferred only in 2012, the airport has had provisions for, and has been receiving, international flights (primarily from Sharjah) since the 1990s and Silk Air from Singapore Changi airport since 2006. Srilankan Airlines from Colombo operated for a short period. The service was stopped due to security reasons. FlyDubai is planning to start their operations in some time.
The further proposed expansion of the airport includes extension of runway to 12,500 ft (3,800 m) to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 and construction of a parallel taxiway to the runway to minimize runway occupancy time and turnaround time of aircraft. Two more parking bays will be added, raising the total number of bays to 10.Now the airport can accommodate a330 aircraft though no airline flys one. The airport is expected to accommodate a380 and 747 when expansion is complete. The airport has received approval for expansion but work has been postponed due to some local problems.
The airport is located on Avinashi Road about 10 km (6.2 mi) from the central bus station. Frequent bus services are available from Gandhipuram central bus station and also from other auxiliary bus stations at Singanallur and Ukkadam. The airport is 11 km (6.8 mi) from the major railway station, Coimbatore Junction and the nearest rail stations are at Singanallur and Peelamedu. Cab services, call taxis and auto rickshaws provide 24 hours commuting services to the airport.
^"Prime Minister holds infrastructure meet, but Mukul Roy is missing". NDTV. 6 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-06-13. Retrieved 13 June 2012. Prime Minister on Wednesday evening asserted his focus on re-energising the economy and said this year will see a series of new projects being commissioned, including international airports for Lucknow, Varanasi, Coimbatore, Trichy and Gaya.