CIAL heli terminal to be ready in 3 months

In what is expected to open the doors for heli taxi services in the state, the exclusive heli terminal with three helipads being set up by the Cochin Internation-al Airport Ltd (CIAL), is nearing completion as the management targets an August deadline to open up the facility.

“The helipads being set up near the fire station building at the Kochi airport has almost been completed. We’ve floated tenders for the final stage work, the helipad lighting system, which is estimated to cost Rs 17.5 lakh,” a top company official said.

On the parking charges mulled by the company, the official said it depends on the type of copter and private jet aircraft classification. “It’ll be affordable as the main portion of our revenue is from landing charges. The helipads can contain three private medium jets or four to five copters,” he said.

Recently, the management under the leadership of MD V.J. Kurien annou-nced the company’s plans to go public and also invest in solar energy, wind power and mini-hydel projects as part of diversifying the activities.

The work of the helipads was hastened up recently in a bid to tap the growing market of helicopter services.

“The helipads will serve dual purposes, for copter taxi services and for parking private business jets. Currently, the jets, owned by big groups like Kalyan and Joy Alukkas, are parked at normal parking lots. We want to decongest them for the commercial jets.”

On allowing copters as emergency medical air ambulance, the official said initially the company will allow the facility only for tourist and personal operations. “The air medical ambulance services will be considered at a later stage when we invite hospital tenders”, he said.

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