Mr. Devaraj along with Coimbatore Airport Director M.R. Vasudva inaugurated the expanded air cargo building with an enhanced handling capacity of 50 tonnes and phase I of the new apron with five parking bays. Improvements are being done for the remaining three parking bays so that the parking bays could accommodate even Boeing 747 variety aircraft. In total, the Coimbatore Airport will have eight parking bays for handling eight bigger aircraft at a time besides one isolation bay for aircraft with security perception.
The parallel taxi way measuring 1,777 metres will help in reducing congestion and runway utilisation time so that more aircraft could be handled during peak hour. The parallel taxi way will be ready for use by October. Already, the extended runway has been commissioned at Coimbatore Airport thus easing the load and fuel restrictions on aircraft. The extended air cargo space inaugurated on Monday takes the total cargo handling space from 50 tonnes to 100 tonnes.
Cargo handling at Coimbatore had of late increased and there was scope for further growth in spite of economic downturn, officials said. Mr.Vasudeva said from the initial tonnage of 1,000 metric tonnes in 2002-03, the current handling at the air cargo complex rose to 3,100 tonnes annually registering an appreciable growth over the years. The expanded cargo complex has an added space of 1,775 square metres which includes 459 square metres of canopy on the city side and 780 square metres on the airside for movement of cargo, equipment and vehicles. A modern integrated terminal building plan is ready with the AAI and will be put in place once the land acquisition is over. The existing terminal building has a capacity for 400 passengers and is being increased for bringing in space to accommodate 300 more passengers, Mr. Devaraj said.