World’s first fully solar-powered airport in India! Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited the Cochin International Airport in Kochi the state of Kerala, which is the world’s first fully solar-powered airport. According to a recent PTI report, PM Modi was thoroughly impressed by the fully solar-powered operations of the airport and stated that the airport should be an inspiring model for all high energy consumers. PM Modi also suggested that stadiums can resort to natural resources in order to achieve power neutrality.
According to a statement issued by the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), PM Modi hailed the airport for being the world’s first fully solar-powered airport. In a discussion with VJ Kurian, Managing Director, CIAL, PM Modi emphasized the efforts of tapping into green energy for operating the airport, which has resulted in the airport achieving the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in the year 2018.
Apart from setting a benchmark on solar power, the airport also boasts of world-class facilities. We take a look at a few interesting facts of the Cochin Airport:
1. The Cochin International Airport is the first greenfield airport in the country which is built with a public-private partnership. The domestic terminal has a 1,20,000 sq. ft. of total area with per hour handling capacity of 400 incoming as well as 400 outgoing passengers. The international terminal has a 15,00,000 sq. ft of total area with 2000 incoming as well as 2000 outgoing passenger handling capacity.
2. Presently, the CIAL is one of the largest green energy organizations in the country, having a total installed capacity of 40 MWp. On average, the airport, receives 1.62 lakh units of power in a day through the solar plant, whereas the daily consumption of power stands at around 1.52 lakh units. In the month of August 2015, the airport achieved the status of power neutrality.
3. The airport boasts of a solar carport which can accommodate as many as 1400 cars. The carport has an installed capacity of 2.7 MWp and it is the largest of its kind in the country, stated CIAL. The car parking also has the charging facility for electric cars.
4. The Cochin International Airport had been awarded the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in the year 2018, for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy. The Champions of the Earth award is the highest environmental recognition of United Nations, celebrating exceptional figures from the public as well as private sectors and also from civil society, whose actions have left a positive impact on the environment.
5. The airport’s terminal 3 is an example of India’s infrastructure meeting world standards. Opened in the month of March 2017, the Cochin International Airport’s T3 is nearly 2.5 times bigger than the existing two terminals of the airport taken together, according to CIAL.
6. The airport’s T3 has as many as five entry gates, 84 check-in counters, 80 immigration/emigration counters. The airport has a 3,500 sq.m. of the total area only for duty-free shops. These are 100% walk-through shops with global brands of perfumes, chocolates and liquor.
7. Among one of its top features, the terminal 3 has a rooftop garden, three VIP lounges, prayer hall, extensive high-speed Wi-Fi network. The international lounge is provided with green plants, grass and shrubs, rendering a peaceful and serene environment for passengers who choose to visit the lunge.
8. Terminal 3 is capable of accommodating as many as five wide-bodied aircraft or a combination of three wide-bodied aircraft and four narrow-bodied aircraft with aerobridge and also an extra four narrow-bodied aircraft at the remote parking bays. The effective peak hour parking capacity is 11 aircraft for T3 alone.
9. The airport also has a sprawling food court in the visitors’ area at the ground level with international brands, 20 retail shops at the departure visitors’ area, a food court with seven counters, viewers gallery, ATM counters, foreign exchange counters and spa, lounge bar among various other features.
10. The Terminal 3 also has pre-paid taxi counters at the arrival area, and mobile and forex counters. It also has four 360-degree CT based in-line scanners with 3D imaging facility that give a detailed description of the baggage at Level-1. According to CIAL, this is the most advanced baggage screening facility across the country.