Kochi Airport will not allow any flight movement from 10 AM to 6 PM starting from November 20, 2019, to March 28, 2020. The runway resurfacing work will have only five flight services cancelled while the rest of the services have been realigned from 6 PM to 10 AM.
According to the news reports, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) had begun the preparatory work for the task beforehand, and thus, made sure only a few flight services had to be cancelled with the aid of the airlines.
News has it that the winter schedule has accommodated the flight services to the available functional hours. Thus, only one flight service in the international sector (Maldives service) operated by Spice Jet, and four services in domestic sector have been cancelled.
CIAL is the seventh busiest airport in the country. It handles 240 aircraft movements and 30000 passengers every day. Therefore, the airport authorities are expecting heavy traffic in the early morning and early evening hours as the functional time will be cut down from 24 hrs to 16 hrs.
Considering these changes, the CIAL has planned to increase the check-in time to three hours for the domestic passengers and four hours for the international passengers. The CIAL has made the arrangements to make sure passengers move smoothly to the boarding/departure gates with the help of customs, immigrations and group-handling staff.
Reportedly, the CISF has put on duty 100 more security men, thus increasing their number of 950 at Kochi airport. In addition, the agency will also deploy 400 security staff in the coming weeks. The airport began its operations in 1999 and went through its first runway re-surfacing work in 2009.
The resurfacing is meant to ensure the optimum level of friction to ease precision landing for aeroplanes. It requires 500000 sq m of area, featuring the 3400-metre-long runway, with a breadth of 60 M, and the taxiway that would be overhauled for the entire duration of resurfacing work.
At the same time, CIAL is repositioning the lighting system – fixing of central line lights every 15 m, setting up new lights at touch-down zones and parking bays. About INR 150 crore is being spent by the CIAL on this project.