KOCHI: Ever since its launch in 1999, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been playing a pivotal in the development trajectory of Kerala. Built with an initial cost of Rs 283 crore and after 15 years into operation, the airport is now synonymous with excellence in the aviation sector not only in the country but also across the globe. The 15- lakh sqft new international terminal of CIAL, built at a cost of Rs 850 crore, will be commissioned by March 2016. With the launch of the new terminal, the development dreams of the state are likely to take off to new heights.
The airport, spread over around 1300 acres, has set a target to increase its turnover to Rs 3,000 crore by 2023 from Rs 361.39 crore recorded in 2013-14. “The total number of equity shares of CIAL as on March 31, 2014, is 30.61 crore. CIAL has plans to avail of loan from Federal Bank at an interest rate of 10.2 per cent, with a repayment period of 12 years. As per the directives of the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority, it was advisable to take loan for the future expansion of the company.
Though the credit cap is pushed up further, it is not mandatory to avail of the whole amount as loan. We can take the loan amount as per requirement,” said V J Kurian, managing director, CIAL. Recently, CIAL increased the borrowing cap from Rs 300 crore to Rs 1500 crore to fuel its dreams. “The civil works of the new International Terminal will be completed by June 2015. We have a plan to become power neutral by 2017, by producing the required electricity by our own.
The present power consumption of the airport is 55,000 units per day, which will become 1.10 lakh per day once the work on the terminal is completed. Now, CIAL generates 1 MW of solar power and another 3-MW solar plant is under construction. In three years, about 10 per cent of the power requirement will be met by solar power. This apart, CIAL Infrastructure will build eight small hydro projects in Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kozhikode and Ernakulam districts. We have already got sanction from the government to set up a 7-MW power plant,” V J Kurian said.
The airport recorded a profit of Rs 124.37 crore in 2013-14, an increase of Rs 12.96 crore compared to the same period last year. The total revenue of the company increased by 17.91 per cent annually to Rs 361.39 crore. In the last fiscal, 53.9 lakh passengers travelled via CIAL, an increase of 10 per cent compared to last year. The CIAL has handled cargo worth Rs 10,387 crore during the period.