Coimbatore International Airport (IATA: CJB, ICAO: VOCB) is an international airport located in Peelamedu, serving Coimbatore. It was previously known as Peelamedu Aerodrome or Coimbatore Civil Aerodrome. It is about 16 km from the city centre.
Coimbatore airport first started operations in the 1940s as a civil aerodrome, with Indian Airlines operating Fokker F27, Douglas DC-3 and Hawker Siddeley's Avro 748. In its early days, services were mainly to Chennai and Mumbai. Later services to Cochin and Bengaluru were added. In the early 1980s, the airport was closed down for runway expansion, to accommodate modern jets like the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. Temporarily, airlines were using the nearby Sulur Airbase. In 1987, after completion of the runway expansion and a new terminal, the airport resumed services. In 1995, Indian Airlines started international services to Sharjah, and in 2007 operations were started to the international destinations of Colombo and Singapore.
Coimbatore Airport currently has one terminal, and one under construction
There are two hangars, one for private carriers and one for the Coimbatore Flying Club. The parking bays in the airport can accommodate a maximum of six aircraft, and the airport also has a fire station.
The airport has one runway that is 9,760 feet (2,970 m) in length - previously the runway was 8,500 ft (2,600 m) in length. Because of this runway expansion, the airport can accommodate aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330. An Instrument Landing System (ILS) is also being installed
The further proposed expansion of the airport includes the construction of a parallel taxiway to the runway. This will minimise the runway occupancy time and turnaround of aircraft, as aircraft currently taxi on the runway. Two more parking bays will be added, raising the total number to eight. The terminal will also be modernised with sliding doors, aero-bridges, and modern systems for baggage-handling
Airport Modernisation and Expansion
The expanded and modernised airport terminal at Coimbatore is expected to be ready within two years from now.
The entire tender process had been completed and contracts worth 78 crore were awarded for the modernisation and expansion of the project. 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 cargo handling capacity of 40 tonne at a time is also expected to double with additional infrastructure at an outlay of 1.5 crore, work on which has already commenced.
The apron extension project, at an investment of 12.5 crore, is also in the offing and tender papers for the same are currently being processed. This apart, parallel taxi track would be laid at an outlay of 32 crore, for which a detailed project report has already been submitted.
Airport New Terminal Building Opened
Coimbatore: 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 arrival passengers and 150 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 m to 14,673 m, 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.
Integrated terminal building
Stating that AAI has requisitioned 613 acres to construct an integrated terminal building to handle 1,200 passengers, at a cost of 395 crore, AAI said the State government has agreed to hand over the land soon.
Terminals, airlines and destinations
17 November 2007: An accident at the parking bay of the airport was averted when the wing of a SpiceJet Boeing 737, bound for New Delhi with 130 passengers, almost struck the wing of a stationary Air Deccan A320 aircraft. The aircraft was stopped in time and an accident was averted.
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The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2010.
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