As the mandatory runway re-carpeting work of Kochi airport is slated in November, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has instructed all the operating airlines to re-schedule their daytime services for four months from 20th November. The major re-carpeting work will start on 20th November 2019 and continue till 28th March 2020. There will be no flight operation from 10am to 6pm in that period. The daytime flights will be re-scheduled to the night.
As per the prescribed practices all airports should re-carpet their runways once in around 10 years. Kochi airport had started commercial operations in 1999 and its runway underwent first re-carpeting in 2009. This is the second re-carpeting work fixed for the 3400M long and 60 M wide runway and will cost Rs 151 Cr. The work includes re-tarring, maintenance and overhauling of entire stretch of the runway, taxiway etc. The daily re-tarred portion has to be prepared for aircraft operation by the time the runway is handed back for operation. During the course of re-carpeting of the runway, the AGL (Airfield Ground Lighting ) system will be upgraded to CAT III from Existing CAT I. This will considerably improve the operational efficiency and Aerodrome safety especially during low visibility and adverse weather conditions. As a part of CAT III lighting system the spacing of existing runway centreline lights will be reduced from existing 30 mtrs to 15 Mtrs and runway will be provided touch down zone lighting and approach side row lighting.
CIAL has already intimated the airlines to re-schedule the timetable for the period so as to provide the passengers who book in advance with the updated schedule. At present CIAL is handling 240 aircraft movements a day. As the majority of international flights operate from 6pm to 9am, the re-carpeting is not going to affect the international traffic in a big way. But around 35 of the domestic services have to be re-scheduled.