Cochin International Airport Limited has big diversification plans

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the first Indian private-public partnership (PPP) airport, has decided to leverage its expertise by getting into construction of airports and other aviation-related business in other parts of the country.

Eight-year-old CIAL made global news when it commissioned the Kochi international airport in record time, and with the lowest gestation period.

CIAL can quote the lowest tender rates and is confident of commissioning these projects in the shortest possible time, its managing director Dr S Bharath said. He added that setting up a special economic zone (SEZ) with central financial assistance, building a world-class golf course and constructing a Rs100-crore warehousing complex for export cargo, especially perishable goods - projects on the anvil using CIAL's surplus land within the airport complex - were all in various stages of implementation.

Starting an airline - either independently or as a joint venture - to take service the growing Gulf sector air traffic, was another major project on the drawing board. It is likely to be highly profitable, especially with the centre's new proposal to open the skies early to tap the fast-growing international tourist traffic, he said.