The solar initiatives of Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) was a matter of pride for the entire nation, remarked chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday after inaugurating the solar power expansion capacity of the airport.
The power increment – from 15.5 MW to 21.5 MW – is attributed to the energy requirement of Cial’s new terminal (T3) and is expected to double the airport’s operational capacity.
The new plants, to generate the additional 6MW, have been installed at three spots – on the hangar premises (3MW), on the southern side of the airport complex (2MW) and solar carport (1MW), which is hailed as another feather in the airport’s solar cap. Once completed, the solar carport will generate 2.5 MW and can accommodate up to 14,000 cars at a time.
Vijayan said the state government has been pushing to revitalise the Karipur International Airport (Kozhikode) and has requested the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to allow wide-bodied aircraft to land at the airport. For the same, the government has approached the civil aviation ministry but didn’t get any response.
The chief minister noted that of all the airports in Kerala, Karipur was not doing well. “The government will take necessary actions to change the situation. The airport requires more land and the government has sanctioned the same,” said Vijayan.
As per DGCA guidelines, the Kozhikode airport will require 240 m in addition to its existing 2,850-m-long runway. The state government earlier this year provided administrative sanction to acquire another 485.3 m.
The CM added that once the Kannur international airport was ready in another “six months”, the state would have four fully-functional international airports. He added the Kannur airport would also operate in the public-private partnership model like Cial.
Vijayan further said, “We also understand the importance of an airport facility in Sabarimala. We have begun the study and research for the project.”