Cochin International Airport

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For the regional airport near Kōchi, Japan, see Kōchi Ryōma Airport.
Cochin International Airport
കൊച്ചി അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര വിമാനത്താവളം
Nedumbassery Airport
CIAL New Logo.png
Cochin international airport terminal.jpg
IATA: COKICAO: VOCI
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Cochin International Airport Limited
Serves Kochi, Kerala
Location Nedumbassery, Kerala, India
Opened 10 June 1999 (1999-06-10)
Hub for Air India Express
Elevation AMSL 9 m / 30 ft
Coordinates 10°09′18″N 76°23′28″E / 10.155°N 76.391°E / 10.155; 76.391
Website cial.aero
Map
COK is located in Kerala
COK
COK
COK is located in India
COK
COK
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
27/09 3,400 11,200 Asphalt
Helipads
Number Length Surface
m ft
H1 19 63 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passenger movements 7,968,475(Increase27.5%)
Aircraft movements 58,752(Increase15.6%)
Cargo tonnage 78,746(Increase35.1%)
Source: AAI,[1][2]

Cochin International Airport (IATA: COKICAO: VOCI) is an international airport situated in the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. It is the first fully solar energy depended airport in the world, 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 2014-15, Cochin airport is the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic after Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai ferrying over 4,758,324 passengers and seventh busiest airport in India carrying 7,968,475 passengers.[3] The airport is a primary base for Air India Express operations and is a focus city for AirAsia India, Air India, IndiGo, and Jet Airways.

Cochin International Airport is the first in India developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model and was funded by nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries.[4]

On August 18, 2015, it became the world's first fully solar energy powered airport with the inauguration of the dedicated solar plant.[5][6]

History[edit]

The original air facilities in Kochi was an aerodrome and airstrip on Willingdon Island, built in 1936 by the British Residency of Kingdom of Kochi, intended for transporting British officials involved in the development of Cochin Port. The airstrip was converted into a military airport by the 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 seaplane base.[7] The military facility hosted naval fighter planes and was intended to thwart possible Japanese air raids.[8] A small naval unit set up just two days before the outbreak of World War II.[9]

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.[10]

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.[citation needed] The resolution was rejected by the Navy for security reasons. However, the government of India's Airport Authority of India did not have enough funds to commence a greenfield airport.[citation needed] This led to the formation of a novel idea of collecting funds from the public and individuals to construct an airport, which was indeed for the first time in India. The idea was put forward by Mr.V.J.Kurian,then the district collector of Ernakulam.[citation needed]

Construction[edit]

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$13 million).[11]

A total of 2,000 acres (810 hectares) of land was acquired for the construction of the airport.[12] Approximately 2,300 landowners and 872 families were resettled under a rehabilitation package.[13] Major electric lines and an irrigation canal had to be diverted.

The facility was formally inaugurated by the then President of India, KR Narayanan 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.[14]

Expansion[edit]

Phase 1[edit]

The airport had 18,580 m2 (200,000 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. The original airport terminal was small enough envisioned to handle just 100 passengers at a time. However, by 2001, the international passenger traffic were growing, making necessary to redevelop the terminal.

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 27,870 m2 (300,000 sq ft) due to the expansion of the international departures block.

Phase 2[edit]

With a rising number of airlines operating at the airport, CIAL decided to construct an exclusive terminal for international arrivals[15] which increased the floor space to 37,161 m2 (400,000 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.

Phase 3[edit]

Work on the third phase was intended to accommodate 5 million passenger movements annually and was started in 2007.[16] 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).[17] 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.[18] 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.[citation needed]

Phase 4[edit]

The fourth phase of expansion was originally planned to upgrade the domestic terminal, which has remained untouched in the past three phases.[19][20] 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.[21] [22][23][24] The new terminal with an elevation featuring Kerala temple architecture will have all the latest features of international standards. Construction major Larsen & Toubro is building the facility which will be ready within 30 months. The two-level terminal will have provisions for 112 check-in counters, with in-line baggage screening facilities, 100 immigration counters, duty-free shops of 30,000 square feet at departure and arrival lounges, 19 boarding gates, 15 aero bridges, six baggage conveyor belts and fully covered alighting and boarding area.[25]

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.

Management[edit]

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.[26] 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%.[27] The remaining 38.03% stake is held by more than 10,000 personal investors from 29 countries, mostly non-resident Indians.[28]

The company has decided to go for public offering and giving 10 million shares to HUDCO as part of debt settlement, which would to lead HUDCO having 3.37% stake in the company and reduction of stake of other holders.[27]

The Chief Minister of Kerala is the ex-officio chairman of CIAL. V J Kurian is the managing director, appointed on 10 June 2011.[29]

Terminals[edit]

Aerial image of Cochin Airport

Cochin International Airport has three terminals. There is a cargo terminal spread over an area of 2,000 acres (810 ha).

Domestic[edit]

The waiting area at the departure gates

The domestic terminal has an area of 10,000 m2 (110,000 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. There is also a family lounge and a premium lounge for business class passengers and a food court is housed in the waiting area, while a restaurant operates in entry lobby. There are 4 remote gates facility available for domestic passengers. The arrivals hall has 2 baggage carousels.[30]

International[edit]

The international terminal covers an area of 47,000 m2 (510,000 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.[31][32] 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 terminal-T3[edit]

On 8 September 2012, the director board of CIAL approved the design of the new international terminal which will cost 6 billion (US$89 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 4000 passengers during peak hours. It will have 15 aerobridges with a floor area of 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft). The terminal is expected to manage passenger traffic till 2030.[25]

Once the new terminal is ready, the old international terminal will become a domestic terminal. The existing domestic terminal will serve business jets only.[33]

The Foundation Stone for the new terminal was laid on 2 February 2014 and is expected to be ready in 30 months.[34] The works of T3 has reached near completion and a formal inauguration has happened on 26 February 2016 by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.[35] The terminal will be open for commercial operations by May 26, 2016.

With the commissioning of Terminal 3, Cochin Airport became India's 3rd Largest airport with total built up area of 2 Million sqft space for commercial operations.[citation needed]

Cargo[edit]

Cochin Airport has a dedicated cargo centre on the eastern side of the complex. The cargo centre is one of the largest facilities in India with a total floor space of 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) in 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land. There are three complexes in the cargo village:

  • The Centre 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.[36]
  • The Centre for Perishable Cargo (CPC) is the largest dedicated cold storage centre for perishable goods in India. 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$5.6 million) jointly by CIAL, Government of India through Agricultural and Food Promotion Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Government of Kerala.[37][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.[36]

In addition, an exclusive domestic cargo complex has also been constructed for private domestic logistics firms and India Post services.

Infrastructure[edit]

Air traffic control[edit]

The air traffic control (ATC) tower is 60 m (200 ft) tall. Cochin ATC controls flights below an altitude of 25,500 ft (7,800 m). The airport has an instrument landing system (ILS) using distance measuring equipment (DME). The Instrument Landing System allows aircraft landings in reduced visibility, as low as 650m. The ATC uses Doppler VHF omni range I and II.[38]

Large-scale upgrades such as the latest AIRCON 2100 air traffic control automation system were also introduced.[39]

Airport surveillance radar[edit]

The Airports Authority of India has installed an advanced airport surveillance radar (ASR) as well as monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR).[40][41] In addition, a surface movement radar was installed for effective monitoring of flights in the runway and parking bays.[42]

Runway[edit]

Cochin International Airport has one runway, 27/09, 3,400 m × 46 m (11,155 ft × 151 ft), equipped to operate any type of aircraft in commercial service other than Airbus A380. It has a full-length parallel taxiway of 3,400 m (11,200 ft). The 807 m × 125 m (2,648 ft × 410 ft) apron comprising 16 stands can accommodate five wide bodied and eight narrow bodied aircraft.[43][44][45] 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 is underway.[46]

Naval enclave[edit]

Indian Navy will set up a Naval Aircraft Enclave at Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL). The proposed Naval Aircraft Enclave will comprise a hangar for bigger aircraft of the Navy, administrative office, disbursal centre, apron capable of holding 2 Boeing type aircraft (P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft) and a taxi track. The Naval Aircraft Enclave at Cochin airport will be the second such facility of the Navy attached to an international airport, after Mumbai. But it is the first public-private participation model airport to hand over land to the Navy for such a facility.[citation needed]

The construction began in 2013 at 10 acres of land owned by the Navy at the airport.[47][48]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 parked at the International Terminal.
An Oman Air Boeing 737-800 taxiing to the gate.
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Arabia Sharjah International
Air India Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai Domestic
Air India Delhi, Dubai–International, Jeddah, Mumbai, Riyadh, Trivandrum International
Air India Express Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, Dubai–International, Kozhikode, Muscat, Salalah, Sharjah, Trivandrum International
Air India Regional Agatti, Bangalore Domestic
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International International
AirAsia India Bangalore, Visakhapatnam Domestic
Air Pegasus Bangalore Domestic
Emirates Dubai–International International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi International
flydubai Dubai–International International
GoAir Delhi, Mumbai Domestic
Gulf Air Bahrain International
IndiGo Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Trivandrum Domestic
IndiGo Dubai–International, Muscat International
Jet Airways Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai Domestic
Jet Airways Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dubai–International, Muscat, Sharjah International
Kuwait Airways Kuwait International
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur–International International
Oman Air Muscat International
Qatar Airways Doha International
Saudia Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh International
SilkAir Singapore International
SpiceJet Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune Domestic
SpiceJet Dubai–International, Malé International
SriLankan Airlines Colombo International
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang International
Tigerair Singapore International
Vistara Delhi, Mumbai Domestic

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Blue Dart Aviation Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai
Qatar Airways Cargo Colombo, Doha
SriLankan Cargo Colombo
Saudia Cargo Dammam, Hong Kong, Riyadh
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum, Hong Kong
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi

† only forward connection

Security[edit]

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,[citation needed] 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.

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.[49] CIAL has introduced three state-of-the-art ION scanning detectors that can identify small amounts of material, down to nanograms, of explosives.[50]

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.[51] 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.[52]

The immigration department is handled by Special Branch officials trained by the Bureau of Immigration.[53]

The airport company also has a high-end robotic security system capable of remote-handling of explosive devices and fire-fighting and hostage situations . The system is operational from September 2014, making CIAL the first in South India to have such a facility. It comprises safety robots developed by Canada-based Pedsco Ltd. and Threat Containment Vessel (TCV) and sophisticated luggage containment vehicle — both developed by Nabco, USA. The main equipment of the system is a threat containment vessel (TCV) carried by robots, which is capable of containing a blast of minimum 8 kg of TNT or equivalent quantity of explosive, triggered by suspected luggage including chemicals, radioactive materials and bombs. The container is reusable as it withstands repeated detonations and size of the TCV can be adjusted with the size of the suspected baggage.In addition to TCV, the technology also comprises a remote mobile Investigator (RMI)-9WT, which is a multipurpose six-wheel vehicle with removable tracks for step climbing capability. Using fixed arm extenders, the robot can be configured for different applications such as under car searches and second-storey window access.[54]

Education and training[edit]

Since 2008, CIAL 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.[55] 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.[56][57]
  • Aviation Security Training Institute — The Aviation Security Training Institute (ASTI), envisioned by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has been inaugurated in February 2014. The institute has state-of-the-art facilities like X-ray simulators (21), explosive model room, two classrooms with LCD projectors and other training infrastructures. Explosive model rooms display different types of switch mechanism to trigger explosion. Library consists of CDs, catering to International Civil Aviation With the establishment of ASTI in Kochi, employees and management personnel from Mangalore, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram airports can take training here. Employees of the proposed Kannur international airport are also likely to be trained here.[58]

Ground transportation[edit]

CIAL is located between National Highway 544 (NH 544), 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.[59] Though the main railway line is only about 500 metres from the airport, the nearest station is Angamaly about 8 km away.

Air-taxi services[edit]

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.[citation needed] In association with Bharat Airways, it provides scheduled air-taxi services to Sabarimala.[60]

Buses[edit]

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 classes of bus service. 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.

Taxis[edit]

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.

Helicopter[edit]

Chipsan Aviation air charter services operating Helitaxi service from the airport to the various locations. Booking counter at domestic terminals.

CIAL Aerotropolis[edit]

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).[61][62] 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.[citation needed]

Manufacturing and business zone[edit]

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.[63]

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.

CIAL solar power project[edit]

CIAL Solar Power Project is a 13.1 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station built by CIAL. Cochin International Airport became the first fully solar powered airport in the world with the commissioning the plant.[64]

The plant comprises 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near the international cargo complex. The plant has been installed by the Germanybased M/s Bosch Ltd. It is capable of generating 50,000 units of electricity daily. It is equipped with a Supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA), through which remote monitoring is carried out. The project components include PV modules of 265Wp capacity manufactured by Renesola, and Inverters of 1MW capacity manufactured by ABB India.[65] It is coupled with an 1.1 MW solar plant that was commissioned in 2013. This plant was installed by Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt. Ltd. 4000 numbers of monocrystalline modules of 250Wp with thirty three numbers of 30kW capacity Delta make string inverters were used in this plant, which is the first Megawatt scale installation of Solar PV system in the State of Kerala.[66]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 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.[67]
  • 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.[68]
  • 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.[69]

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 10°09′18″N 76°23′28″E / 10.155°N 76.391°E / 10.155; 76.391