An airport as busy as the GVK Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) generates a lot of traffic to and from the city. An insufficiently sized Car Park could cause congestion at kerbsides and finding a parking spot could become an hour long hunt. This creates an unfavourable first impression about the airport and the city that are synonymous with each other. A Multi-Level Car Park (MLCP) thus becomes a very important component of any modern airport. At GVK CSIA, efforts are put in place to ensure that planning for such an integral component is well addressed with world-class standards.
The planning parameters for the Car Park of one of India’s busiest airports were difficult to arrive at. Very few examples of such complexity existed in India at the time (2007). The team had to look at the international horizon for appropriate benchmarks. After careful analysis, it was determined that the iconic Terminal 2 would require a Car Park to accommodate 5,000 cars. At the time it was planned as the largest Car Park in India. In addition to accommodating a large number of cars, a number of service level quality parameters were applied such as ensuring that the passengers find a parking place and reach the arrival or departure floor within 15 minutes. Given the brownfield nature of this project, key constraints such as scarcity of land were inevitable. This led to a restricted footprint between the Terminal and Mithi River (roughly 400m x 50m) upon which this mammoth initiative would now be placed. Thus the planning efforts were directed to ensure delight to passengers.
Design and Engineering
The MLCP was visualised to be a discreet, non-imposing structure that would not compete with the iconic Terminal 2 and yet have vibrant plazas providing exciting transit spaces for passengers and visitors. Moreover, it was envisaged to have smooth connectivity to the elevated and at-grade road network. Architects M/s Design Cell and HOK from Hong Kong were employed to give this space a vibrancy and civic purpose with an Indian character and international efficiency. The complexity of the space, given its relationship to the Terminal, was also to be refined along with the design development.
Interestingly, this Car Park evolved into a structure with 10 parking levels including three levels of basement with a total area of 250,000sqm, which is about half the size of T2 and would be the size of 20 Wankhede Stadiums or 35 full-sized football fields. The roof garden of MLCP is about 20m, longer than Shivaji Park and almost half as wide.
MLCP plaza spaces are visualised as an oasis to contain a large floating population of ‘meeters and greeters’. The lush landscaping and water features add to the visual delight and experience of the passenger and create a focal point of interest. Arrival and Departure Plazas also have retail areas and cafés that are strategically placed for passengers
The entrance and exit of the Car Park is from Level 5. There are two sets of internal ramps in a helical loop providing rapid access to the upper and lower levels. These ramps are wide enough with mild slopes making them a safe drive. All levels of the Car Park are connected to two vertical circulation cores containing four large capacity elevators and escalators. The MLCP is equipped with toilets within the Car Park and at the vertical circulation cores.
Level 4 of the Car Park is connected to a covered ground Transportation Lobby from where arriving passengers can find taxis, auto rickshaws and buses to the city. There are spaces for VIP pickup at the east side, and buses and coaches pickup at the west side, and additional private pick-up lanes at the ground transportation lobby.
The inside of the Car Park is detailed to the best international standards. Signages are installed with direction signs to and from the Terminal as emergency and mandatory fire-related signs. The Car Park will also include a state-of-the-art Car Park management system making it easier to find vacant parking spaces. The operations shall be brisk for entry and exit, revenue collections and way finding, with these systems assisting passengers and users alike.
The fire detection and protection systems installed on the ceiling are well coordinated and orderly placed so that there are no conflicts with other services. The lighting levels are kept at a minimum of 80 lux so that it is nice and bright within the Car Park. The columns are painted in nine different colours at nine different levels to make it easier for users to remember the floors they have parked their vehicles. The flooring is a high performance PU deck coating with integrated floor striping. With all of this and more, this MLCP is truly a world-class facility.