Cochin Airport (IATA code: COK) is an international airport serving the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) owns and operates the Kochi Airport, which is the first airport in the country built under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It is also the first ever airport in the world fully powered by solar energy. Cochin Airport, located 28 km north-east of downtown Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala, is the third busiest airport in the country in terms of international passenger movement and seventh largest in terms of total passenger volume. As of 2022, the Cochin International Airport caters to 61.8% of the total air passenger movement in Kerala. The airport operates three passenger terminals, including an exclusive Business Jet Terminal which is also India’s first charter gateway. For this entrepreneurial vision, the airport won the coveted ‘Champion of the Earth’ award in 2018, the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations.
Aviation is one of the fields which is being reprimanded for the production of greenhouse gases. CIAL believes in the responsibility to venture into projects producing green energy and thereby lessening our carbon footprint. In 2015, Cochin International Airport became the world's first fully solar powered airport with the inauguration of a dedicated solar plant. CIAL also ventured into a hydroelectric project which was commissioned in 2021. The hydropower plant located at Iruvanjippuzha in Arippara, Kozhikode district, has an installed capacity of producing 4.5MW.
CIAL also inaugurated a new solar power plant on 06th March 2022 elevating its status of being a power neutral airport to a power positive airport. The 12 MWp Payyanur plant is situated at Ettukudukka near Payyanur, Kerala. With the commissioning of Payyanur plant the cumulative installed capacity of solar plants of CIAL has been scaled up to 50 MWp. These include seven plants functioning in the premises of the airport, a solar carport and the one at Payyanur. CIAL’s solar power plants together generate two hundred thousand (2 lakhs) units of power a day whereas the airport’s daily power consumption stands at 1.6 hundred thousand units.
Cochin International Airport Limited also has five subsidiary companies; namely, Cochin International Aviation Services Limited (CIASL), Air Kerala International Services Limited (AKISL), CIAL Infrastructures Limited (CIAL INFRA),CIAL Duty Free and Retail Services Limited (CDRSL) and Kerala Waterways and Infrastructures Limited (KWIL). The company also owns an 18 hole golf club (CIAL Golf Club), a trade facility centre (CIAL Trade and Convention Centre) and two hangars.
The company has carved a niche in financial performance as it has been paying dividend since 2003-04. It has become one of the few airports in the world which registered a profit during the post pandemic FY of 2021-22. It has a base of 18,000 investors. Being a PPP company, the Governement of Kerala is the single largest investor having 32.04 % share. Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala is the chairman of the company.