I love Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum / TVM) airport. It is small, cosy and has a homely feel to it. The airport terminal is a small building, with “Arrival” on one side and “Departures” on the other. With a few planes on one side and mundu-wearing public at the other.
I use the word homely with a purpose. I doubt if there are many other airports (of course, my knowledge of airports is limited to TVM, Kochi, Bangalore and Mumbai) where your aircraft glides right to the doorstep of the “Arrival” Terminal, you step out from it and take five steps to reach the sole luggage conveyor belt, collect your bag and turn around to face the sliding Exit doors. Nothing could be simpler. And when I compare this with the new Bangalore International Airport (inaugurated last year) where we have to ride a few kilometers by bus to reach the terminal, walk miles inside the terminal to reach the conveyer belt, and look around for “Exit” signs to find the escape route, this is Simplicity itself. Speaking of Bangalore International Airport, it has a past too, the old HAL airport was almost as small and homely… but I do not intend to digress.
One would find it difficult to believe that this little airport I just sketched out for you has an “International” to its name, (as in “Trivandrum International Airport”) and, as per statistics from the Internet, is the second busiest airport in Kerala. I just heard that the terminal is coming of age – to try to do justice to the ‘International’ in its name – there is a new, big terminal under construction, and a state-of-the-art runway getting ready for the International traffic. Soon the facet of the airport will change, this could as well be the last time I am seeing my favourite little airport as it is now.
And the landing at TVM? Ah, the landing! You would not want to miss it for the world. If you have a weekend to spare, try visiting TVM. Just land, and take off in the next flight. Breath-taking is too mild a term to describe the landing. (I admit that I may be biased in my recommendation, one always finds one’s hometown breathtaking, no matter what.) If you have more days to spare, you would like to visit a few places – but I warn you, the heat that hits you right in your chest could make your knees buckle.
I tried to find some good snaps of TVM International airport in the Net, but could not. If you have access to any, do leave them here as links/comments.