Modernisation and Expansion of Coimbatore Airport

Modernisation and Expansion of Coimbatore Airport:

The Coimbatore Airport has been slated for modernisation and expansion. The works are to be carried out by the Airports Authority of India and include the creation of a parallel runway, taxiways, aprons and new passenger terminal buildings. The expansion works will involve the acquisition of land in nearby areas. The expansion of the existing airport would be taken up at Kallapatti, Chinnayampalayam, and Nellambur taluk after a resolution to this effect was adopted by the government. The existing airport can handle about 17 aircraft movement per hour and even after expansion.

The entire tender process had been completed and contracts worth 350 crore were awarded for the modernisation and expansion for the cargo terminal. According to the terms of references, the construction work should be completed within 24 months from the date of awarding the contract.

The expansion project comprises scaling up the carpet area to 14,000 sq metres on a two-storeyed steel and glass space frame structure, from 6,000 sq mt. The project also includes installation of aero bridges, escalators and four elevators. The passenger handling capacity too would be doubled from the existing 350 at a time.

The apron extension at an investment of 12.5 crore and a parallel taxi track at an outlay of approximately 32 crores were completed recently to handle more aircrafts at a time and to reduce the runway occupancy time of aircrafts.

Airport Terminal Building Opened:

The newly-constructed Coimbatore Airport terminal building with state-of-the-art modern facilities will be opened on Monday noon. Airports Authority of India (AAI) Regional Executive Director D. Devaraj and Coimbatore Airport Director M.R. Vasudeva told The Hindu that the existing terminal building could handle 150 domestic arrival passengers and 150 domestic departure passengers.

Both Mr. Devaraj and Mr. Vasudeva said a building parallel to the existing one was constructed to cater to the increasing number of passengers.

The new building can at a time accommodate 350 passengers arriving at the airport and 350 departing from there. The new building will have all modern facilities - four lifts, four escalators and two aerobridges.A new parallel taxi track, laid at a cost of 31 crore; four state-of-the-art fire tenders; extension of runway; new fire station and a workshop are some of the other facilities added to the airport.Originally there was no air-condition facility at the Coimbatore airport. However, the expanded area will be totally air-conditioned. Facilities such as escalators and lifts will be added to it. Work on the aerobridges is expected to be over in six months.

With the expansion, the area of the building has been increased from 5,962 m2 to 14,673 m2, having separate domestic and international arrival halls. The new arrival hall has been constructed with three conveyor belts with a loop length of 60 m each as against the two with 13.5 m length functioning in the old building. There is space for a VIP room, customs office, duty free shop, banks etc. Presently, domestic and international passengers are handled through common security hold.

Soon, the existing departure lounge of the terminal building will be enlarged and modified. The AAI with the help of the state highways department has developed a four-lane approach road and two additional service roads.

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