Runway re-carpeting at Kochi airport from Wednesday; daytime flights rescheduled
Kochi: The mandatory runway re-carpeting work of Kochi airport will commence on Monday. Flight operations at the airport between 10 am and 6 pm will remain suspended till march 28, 2020.
Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has instructed all the operating airlines to re-schedule their daytime services for the four-month period. CIAL officials informed that most of the flights have been rescheduled to between 6 pm and 10 am and that only five services were cancelled.
Among international flights, only Maldives flight by SpiceJet has been cancelled. In the domestic sector, one service each by several airlines to Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai and Mysore have been cancelled. Many services have been added to the winter schedule which commenced in October.
“At present CIAL is handling 240 aircraft movements a day. As the majority of international flights operate from 6 pm to 9 am, 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,” a press release said.
With the mandatory runway re-carpeting work commencing, operational hours of the airport will be reduced to 16 from 24. In view of the possible rush of passengers, CIAL has increased the check in time. Domestic passengers can check in three hours ahead of flight time while international passengers can check in four hours ahead of their scheduled flight.
CIAL has also ensured the cooperation of Customs, Immigration, CISF and ground handling agencies. The CISF has deployed 100 more personnel at the airport taking the total number to 950. CISF officials informed that 400 additional officers will be deployed in the coming weeks.
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 metres to 15 metres and runway will be provided touch down zone lighting and approach side row lighting.
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 3400-metre-long and 60-metre-wide runway and will cost Rs 151 crore. 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.