The four-month-long runway resurfacing work at Kochi Airport is set to start on Wednesday (November 20). No flights would operate between 10 am and 6 am till March 28, 2020.
A statement from the airport said on Monday (November 18) that since almost all services have already been re-scheduled between 6 am and 10 am, the project period would see a cancellation of only five services during the major runway re-surfacing period.
Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has started the preparatory work for the project well in advance and thereby ensured the minimal cancellation of services with the co-operation of the airlines, the statement said.
The winter schedule, which became effective from the last week of October has already adjusted the services to the available operational time, which sees the cancellation of only one service in the international sector — Maldives service operated by Spice Jet — and four services in the domestic sector.
CIAL — the seventh busiest airport in the country — handles 240 aircraft movements and 30,000 passengers a day, expects a rush in the early morning and early evening hours as the operational time is going to be stipulated from 24 hrs to 16 hrs.
In view of it, CIAL has decided to increase the check-in time to 3 hours for the domestic passengers and 4 hours for the international passengers, the statement said. Arrangements were already made to ensure hassle-free passenger movement with the help of customs, immigration, ground-handling agencies.
The CISF, which manages airport security has deployed 100 additional security men raising their total strength to 950 at Kochi airport. The agency also decided to deploy another 400 security personnel in the weeks to come.
The airport which started functioning in 1999 underwent first runway re-surfacing work in 2009. The re-surfing is done to ensure the desired level of friction to facilitate precision landing for the aircraft.
An area of five lakh square meter comprising the 3,400-metre-long runway, with a width of 60 metres, and the taxiway, taxiway links would be overhauled during the period. Simultaneously, CIAL is realigning the lighting system – fixing of central line lights every 15 metres, introduction of new lights at touch-down zones and parking bays, the statement said.
CIAL is spending around ₹150 crore for the project and expects to complete it as per schedule, it added.