- Four-lane road and over-bridge
- new solar plants also inaugurated
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated three mega projects at Cochin International airport on Saturday, the 11th March 2017. After opening the new international terminal; T3, newly built 4.3-km road and capacity augmentation of the solar plant, The Chief Ministe said Kerala would soon become home to four well-managed international airports.
With a peak hour passenger handling capacity of 4000 and 25 lakh SFT parking bay,the sprawling T3 is expected to double the airport’s capacity to operate international flights. The existing road was renovated to four-lane to smoothen the connectivity from National High way to the airport and the solar capacity enhancement; the first phase of which was inaugurated on the same day, was done to maintain the power neutrality of the airport, as CIAL is the first airport in the world fully operated on solar power.
After unveiling the plaque of four-lane road, Chief Minister turned up at the arrival pier of T3, bay no 21, where he was to receive the first passenger. The jet airways flight 9W533, the first one to be facilitated at T3, from Muscat landed at 4.25 pm. As per tradition a 90 minute water salute was give by the ARFF’s Evaco Magirus fire tenders, following which the filght fast docked at the aerobridge. Chief Minister received the first passenger, Mr.Anand and a memento dotting the event was given. All passengers and crew were given a red carpet welcome by CIAL. Following the arrival pier function, Chief Minister unveiled the plaques of solar capacity enhancement and the commissioning of T3 followed by a public function. Chief Minister Said, in his inaugural address that CIAL had broken the concept of ‘privatising profits and socialising losses’. “As the airport company grew over the years, the local community also benefited. The corporate social responsibility programmes implemented by CIAL is commendable and the Government is really indebted to the company to for helping it to execute many such programmes around the airport “- Chief Minister said. “The Kannur airport is expected to be ready for commercial operation in six months. After maintenance works at the Kozhikode airport completed, the state government requested the Director General of Civil Aviation to grant permission for operation of large aircraft. We are expecting a favourable response from the authorities concerned,” said Pinarayi.
“The successful implementation of infrastructure projects by the CIAL encouraged the government to launch more such projects, like the Kannur airport,” he said. The `850-crore international terminal is envisaged to cater to the needs of air passengers in the next 20 years.The existing domestic terminal will now be shifted to the present international terminal, which in turn will be used for operation of business flights.
The new terminal has centralised air conditioning system, 10 escalators, 21 elevators, three moving walkways, 33,000 sqft space for duty-free shops, 3,000 surveillance cameras, 700 fire detectors, 10 aero-bridges and modern baggage handling facility. It has a 100-percent LED lighting system.Capacity of the solar power plant at the CIAL is being augmented by 6MW, considering the additional energy requirement after commissioning of the new terminal. The original capacity of 15.5MW is sufficient only for the two old terminals. The first phase of capacity augmentation of the solar plant will be done spending `30 crore, and is expected to be completed by May this year.The new road and ROB, constructed at a cost of `98 crore, have reduced the distance to the airport from NH by one km.
CM praises CIAL Model
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said CIAL was instrumental in breaking the concept that it is for the private sector to generate profit and public sector to incur loss. Speaking after commissioning three mega projects he said that CIAL even as it generated profit focused on fulfilling the corporate social responsibility by funding social projects.
“This included Rs 4 crore given to Suchithwa Mission, Rs 10 crore given to Ernakulam Govt Medical College and contribution it offered for the drinking water project for four panchayats in the area as well as giving employment to thousands of people directly and indirectly,” he said. He also said that CIAL in which government has only 35 per cent stake reversed the concept that infrastructure development was the responsibility of government. “In its place people’s collectives have come to play in the state which has set an example before the world and we are going to realise the Kannur airport also in the same fashion in another six months,” he said.
Mr Vijayan also said the government has made up its mind on an airport for Sabarimala and the work for identifying site and implementing agency are now on. He said that he was disappointed over the approach of the Civil Aviation Ministry in not giving green light for wide-bodied aircraft to land at Karipur airport despite rectifying the shortcomings.
Mr Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance delivered the presidential address, while Mr.Mathew T Thomas, Minister for Water Resources rendered the Keynote address and Adv.V.S.Sunil kumar was the Chief guest. Mr.V.J.Kurian, Managing Director, CIAL made introductory remarks and Mr.A.M.Shabeer presented the project report while Mr.A.C.K.Nair, Airport Director, delivered the vote of Thanks. Mr.M.A.Yusuffali welcomed the gathering. Mr.K.V.Thomas, MP, Mr.Roji M.John, Mr.Anwar Sadath, Mr. V.D.Satheesan, MLAs, Mr.P.Rajeeve, Ex.MP, Mr.C.N.Mohanan, Chairman GCDA, Mr.MP Lonappan, Mrs. M.A.Gracy, Mrs.Alphonsa Varghese, Mrs.Mini Eldho, Mr.T.Y Elias, Representing the nearby local bodies, Mr.K.Roy Paul, Mrs.Ramani A.K., Mr. C.V.Jacob, Mr.N.V.George, Mr.E.M.Babu were present at the function.