Friday, April 06, 2007

Airport in full steam ahead

Trivandrum International Airport (TIA) has notched up an astounding 225% increase in traffic over last year with a host of new domestic and international airlines starting services and existing operators increasing frequencies and destinations. Finally, the State's premier airport has adequate connectivity to major Indian cities as well as destinations in the Mid-East, South Asia, Europe and the US. For a long time, vested interests supporting another airport in the State were rumoured to have laid obstacles in the way of TIA's progress. At least, the pressure of demand at the airport which supports not only the largest city in Kerala but also the southern districts of Kerala and Tamilnadu, has become too great to resist.

However, the pace of development needs to be speeded up. The New International Terminal - Phase I, currently under construction on the city side of the airport, will already be stretched beyond its design capacity when it becomes operational in mid-2008. AAI will need to expedite work on further phases to ensure that TIA can accomodate as many as 4 - 4.5 million passengers by 2010 as Trivandrum emerges as a national IT, hospitality and industrial hub. Hopefully with PPP projects and strong state government support, this aim can be met.

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Civil work on installation of two new aerobridges at Terminal - II (International) is almost complete. The aerobridges are planned to be operational in May.

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Work is on in full swing for the construction of four new aircraft parking bays in the area between Terminal II and the Air Cargo Complex. They will help to handle the rapidly expanding traffic at the airport.

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Barriers separate the operating area from the construction site of the New International Terminal - Phase I.

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