Airport Health Organization Cochin is the sub-ordinate office of Central International Health Division, Directorate General of Health services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India. This office started functioning at the Cochin International Airport in 2006 to carry out public health activities through the implementation of International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005, Indian Aircraft (Public Health) Rules (IAPHR) 1954 and Indian Aircraft Act (1934), ICAO Standards & Guidelines and Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 & Regulations, 2011.

Airport Health Organisation Cochin was established on 23 August 2006. Presently Airport Health Organisation, Cochin is a fully functional unit with a quarantine facility and and yellow fever vaccination centre.

Cochin international Airport is the busiest and the largest airport in the state of Kerala. India, a Member State of World Health Organisation has adopted the International Health Regulations 2005 with some “Reservations”. The objective of ‘International Health Regulations’ is to ensure the maximum security against the international spread of Communicable disease with a minimum interference with world traffic. The “Reservations of India” to these Regulations is towards ‘Prevention of entry of Yellow Fever into India. As per these Regulations, a Member State has to maintain as many of the Sanitary Ports and Airports as practicable with organized medical and health service with adequate staff, equipment, premises etc.

  1. Surveillance of diseases notified by Govt. of India.
    Disease surveillance at Airport Health Organisation basically includes 2 categories
    1. Disease surveillance on regular basis like surveillance of Yellow Fever disease. As per the standard protocol all international passengers are screened by Immigration Officers. Passengers coming from Yellow fever infected countries without valied Yellow fever vaccination card are identified. If such passengers are identified by immigration officers they are referred to APHO Pre – immigration office for decision making.
    2. Disease surveillance when a PHEIC is declared by World Health Organization and Govt. of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare decide to initiate surveillance.
  2. Passenger quarantine : All the passengers who have transited through the Yellow fever endemic country during the last 6 days prior to arriving India and if they don’t have a valid vaccination certificate, they will have to be quarantine for 6 days. The quarantine starts from the date and the time they started travel from affected country. During this period they will be monitored for any signs and symptoms for yellow fever disease. If they develop any symptoms, sample will be collected and send for testing.
  3. Yellow Fever Vaccination : APHO, Cochin is a designated yellow fever vaccination centre by Govt. of India. Vaccination is given for passengers who desires to go to the yellow fever affected countries. They have to take vaccination minimum 10 days prior to travel to these countries.
  4. Polio Vaccination : Since in India has been declared polio free, Govt. of India has decided to vaccinate passengers going to polio affected countries. This is to avoid further introduction of the wild strain of polio again in to India. Passengers who desires to take vaccination can take it preferably six weeks prior to their travel to the below mentioned countries. This is not a mandatory requirement. After vaccination a vaccination certificate will be issued which is valid for one year.
  5. Surveillance of International Aircraft disinsection : As per the Indian Aircraft and Public Health rule all the international flights coming to India should be disinsected. These aircraft will be carrying a certificate/ Disinsection canisters to this effect and will be shown to the pre - Immigration office for verification.
  6. Human remains Clearance: As per the Indian Aircraft and public health rule Para (4) 1954, aircraft operators/consignee should intimate APHO at least 48hrs before the HUM is brought to airport. Following documents are required to be presented (Copies) Pre - Immigration office of APHO.
    1. Indian Embassy Non-Objection Certificate.
    2. Copy of the cancelled passport.
    3. Death certificate clearly showing the cause of death.
    4. Embalm certificate.
    5. Non contagious certificate.
    6. This office will examine the documents presented and permit/deny the request given by the aircraft operators. Intimation along with copies of the necessary documents should be send to APHO mail ( at least 48hrs before. The documents will be scrutinised and decision taken will be conveyed to the consignee/aircraft operator. Similarly clearance certificate is issued for the on board death cases after examination of the body.
  7. VVIP food surveillance
  8. Implementation of FSSAI 2006 : Airport Health Officer is the designated officer for the food outlets with in the terminal. These food outlets will be checked frequently and their food hygiene practises will be thoroughly scrutinised.
  9. Vector Surveillance: APHO staff with assistance from national Vector borne Disease control program undertake periodic monitoring of the vector control activity within the airport and 400 metre of the airport.
  10. Sanitary Inspection: Health Inspector and Field workers do the regular sanitary inspection of the food outlets, Toilets, washrooms etc. Samples of the drinking water are to be taken by the airport operator under the supervision of the APHO from the water sources for testing and the results will be monitored by this office.
  11. Training: The Immigration officers have trained periodically regarding Yellow Fever and PHEICs .
  12. Flight Emergency’s: APHO staffs will be assisting if any flight emergency occurs within the airport.
  13. Duties related to public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC) : As per the International Health regulations, point of entries should be prepared for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear emergencies CBRN approach. CIAL is fully prepared and a public health emergency contingency plan has been prepared by Airport Health organisation. This PHECP had been approved by ministry and stake holders at CIAL. This plan was initiated previously during H1N1, MERS – CoV, Zika and COVID 19 outbreak.
  14. Any other task assigned by the Ministry APHO Cochin has been assigned with HUM clearance responsibility of the Kannur Airport since there is no APHO there.

Officer Incharge
Dr. Raphael Teddy
Airport Health Organisation, Ministry of Health and family Welfare, Govt of India, Cochin International Airport, CHA Building, Nedumbassery, Cochin-683111.

0484-2610255, 2611855