Catching up with the momentum witnessed by Indian aviation sector, Cochin International Airport has logged the magical figure of 10 million passengers in a single financial year. Cochin International airport, the first airport in the world fully powered by solar energy and the first airport in the country built under PPP model, has passed through this major milestone, in its 19 year long history on 28th March 2018 when the Indigo flight 6E 563 from Chennai had docked its terminal -2 at 12.20 pm.
As a gesture of gratitude, the airport company (CIAL)’s managing director, Mr.V.J.Kurian gifted one sovereign gold coin to the representative of the passenger who was disembarked from the aircraft. CIAL had handled 8.94 million passengers in FY 2016-17 and witnessed a steady increase in traffic this year with a total passenger volume of 10 million plus despite the FY is yet to be concluded. It registered 22 % increase in domestic passenger volume, touching 4.84 million compared to that of 3.94 million in FY 2016-17. The international sector witnessed an increase of four percent with 5.16 million passengers compared to 4.98 million in FY 2016-17. The total aircraft movement has increased by 13 % from 62,827 during last FY to 68898 in this FY so far. There are 25 airlines operating from CIAL offering connectivity to almost all destinations in middle east and to cities in far east like Singapore, Kuala lumpur and Bangkok. As per the existing schedule, the airport has well connected to Indian Cities with frequent services including (weekly) 95 to New Delhi, 71 to Bangalore, 68 to Mumbai and offering direct daily services to Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Pune etc. This year also, CIAL maintained the status quo of being the fourth largest airport in the country in terms of international traffic and seventh largest in terms of total traffic.
The country has been witnessing an extraordinary growth in domestic aviation sector. Last year it registered 100 million passengers and became the third largest in the world in terms of domestic passengers. CIAL managing director Mr.V.J.Kurian said in a post event briefing that CIAL is well prepared to encompass this growth “ ...The growth of domestic aviation is phenomenal so that the airport operators have to double their capacity in every four years. There are 480 aircraft operating today for the airlines companies in India and orders have already been placed with manufacturers for another 1080 planes which are expected to arrive in next 10 years. The capacity enhancement of the airports should be of utmost importance. CIAL is also gearing up for this. We are renovating the existing terminal-1 for the domestic operation, which will have 6 lakh square feet built up area and will feature all modern amenities. This will be added up to the existing 16 lakh square feet of terminal space. We expect that renovated terminal will become operational in May 2018 “ –added Kurian.
Mr.A.C.K.Nair, Airport Director, Mr.A.M.Shabeer, Executive Director, Mr.Sunil Chacko, Chief Financial officer were present at the briefing.