A long period after the second wave of the pandemic that tattered the aviation sector, positive signs began to appear with the airports in the country recording a gradual increase in both passenger traffic and aircraft movement. Cochin airport increased its tally in international traffic from the fourth position to the third during the period of January-May 2021. The domestic sector is also picking up witnessing a two-fold increase in June.
Cochin airport handled 5,89,460 international passengers during the five months and attained the third position after Delhi and Mumbai airports. During April, it facilitated 1,38,625 international passengers becoming the second busiest airport in the country in terms of international traffic. During the initial five months period, the total passenger volume registered at Cochin Airport was 15,56,366. CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS attributed the increase in traffic to the efficacy of the State Government in establishing Kerala as one of the safest places to arrive during the pandemic period as well as CIAL’s pro-active approach in making the airport a safe travel hub. “The Kerala Government installed free RT PCR testing facilities at all airports for the international arrival passengers. An integrated travel facilitation strategy was launched at the airport wherein officials of District administration, health, revenue, police departments have been working round–the–clock for increasing the comfort level of the passengers. CIAL has adopted the Covid protocol management at par with international standards. It implemented many innovative ideas like UV baggage disinfestation system at the conveyor belts of both terminals. These approaches have contributed to the effort of boosting the confidence of the passengers ’’- said Suhas.
As per the instruction of the State Government as well as board of directors CIAL has implemented several measures to ensure the steady growth of traffic. As soon as the Dubai Authorities made amendments in its travel protocol mandating a rapid-PCR test for the India passengers, Cochin Airport could establish the same. A meeting convened by the Managing Director with all stake holders including the representatives of airlines called for a concerted approach to ensure hassle-free movement of passengers in the terminal and increase the traffic growth. Following these participatory actions, the airport saw a steady increase in passenger volume during June 2021. From just shy of 3,000 on 1st June the passenger volume increased by twofold to 7012 on 30th June touching the total figure for the month to 1,43,366. The airport handled 1139 aircraft movements during June. Cochin International Airport which has been handling 10 million passengers annually during the pre-pandemic period is all set to facilitate a projected surge in the aviation sector for the forthcoming months