The Cochin International Airport will remain shut for five months, from 6 November 2019 to 28 March 2020 during the daytime between 10 am and 6 pm. The authorities will conduct the necessary re-carpeting works on the runways of the airport during the course of time.
“The major re-carpeting work will start on 20 November and continue till 28 March. There will be no flight operation from 10 am to 6 pm in that period. The daytime flights will be re-scheduled to the night,” said an official release of CIAL.
According to reports, there are 31 services and seven international flights operating during the daytime. There is also an equal number of flights landing at Cochin airport at the same time. The airline companies have been asked to change the flight time to adjust the services. It is estimated that around 35 flights have to be re-scheduled. Since majority of the international flights are operating during night hours, the maintenance work will not affect them in major way.
Maintenance works will be performed in the daytime, and the runway would function as usual from 6 pm till next day morning.
The re-carpeting works of runways are a mandatory maintenance exercise for the airports, prescribed by the civil aviation authority the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The airports are asked to carry out re-carpeting in every ten-year time.
Cochin airport’s runway was previously re-carpeted in the year 2009. The work is estimated to cost around INR 151 crores. The airport authorities will re-tar and overhauling of the complete stretch of both runway and taxiway. Special efforts have to be made to make the daily re-tarred portion of the runways ready for aircraft operation by night.
Besides re-tarring, the Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) system of the runway will be upgraded to CAT III. This will enhance the operational efficiency and safety aspects, primarily during the low visibility and adverse weather. Currently, the system is using CAT I. This will reduce the spacing of the existing runway centreline lights from existing 30 metres to 15 metres, the release said.