Malappuram: A swanky new international arrival terminal with state-of-the-art facilities will greet passengers at the Calicut International Airport in Karipur near here. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam dedicated the new arrival block, which was built at a cost of Rs 122 crore, to the nation via video conferencing. The two-storey building, spread across 17,000 sq m, can accommodate 1,527 passengers during peak hours and has 20 customs and 38 immigration counters.
The new terminal, which will be operational by the third week of March, also houses special lounge, executive lounge for VIP travellers, prayer rooms and visitors’ gallery. The current arrival block will be converted into a departure terminal for the international passengers. The governor said that the new terminal would augur well for the development of Karipur, and for passengers in terms of superlative services.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, who also addressed the gathering through video conferencing, said that the Centre had done justice to Kerala with the development of 4 airports in the state.
Kerala Minister for Minority Welfare K T Jaleel, parliamentarians P K Kunhalikutty and P V Abdul Wahab, MLAs T V Ibrahim and P Abdul Hameed, Haj Committee chairman P Muhammed Faizy and Airport director K Srinivasa Rao were present for the inaugural function.
Passenger amenities spruced up
With the opening of new terminal, the passengers can now breeze through the checking procedures without any hassles as there would be more customs and immigration officials on duty. The authorities claim that a traveller carrying just a hand baggage, can come out of the new complex within 10 minutes. Some of the facilities at the new block that would make life easier for the passengers are as follows:
Five conveyor belts
Now, the passengers’ wait for baggage will be shorter as 3 new conveyor belts, each 60m long, will be in operation at the new arrival terminal. Moreover, the two conveyor belts at the old arrival block, will be fixed at the new facility for the benefit of the passengers. The number of baggage scanning machines has also been increased from 2 to 5.
Six aero bridges
There will be six aero bridges, including 3 new ones, at the new block, and close to 80 percent of the passengers arriving at the airport would be using these bridges to reach the arrival terminal. Presently, 70 per cent of the travellers are taken to the arrival block on buses.
Passenger capacity of 1,527
The capacity of the 17,000 sqm new facility is 1,527 passengers during peak hours. Earlier, it was 950 passengers.
The immigration department has 16 counters, manned by two officials each, as against 8 in the old arrival terminal. There are three exclusive counters for visa-on-arrival passengers. Two each X-ray and Door Frame Metal Detector (DFMD) machines will be pressed into service for customs checking.
The building has been built as per the green building protocol and has a rainwater harvesting tank with a storing capacity of 10 lakh litres. The complex also has waste water treatment plant.