Stone laid for Kerala's 4th international airport

Terminal to come up at Kannur in north Kerala

At a largely attended groundbreaking ceremony presided over by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Achuthanandan said the proposed airport would cater to the needs of one-third of the state’s over 20 lakh Gulf migrants. The airport will come up on 2000 acres with public-private partnership on the lines of the Cochin International Airport and will be the largest in the state when completed.

Praful Patel said the Centre had set aside several issues to clear the project keeping in view the interests of a large number of non-resident Indians from the region who contributed to the nation’s economy. The main `issue’ he was apparently referring to was the proximity of Kannur to the Kozhikode airport which is about 120 kms to its south and the Mangalore airport which is about 140 kms to its north.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan who is one of the directors of Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) said that about 1300 acres of land had been acquired for setting up the main runway and other facilities. Another 700 acres would be acquired by January for the second runway and allied facilities. The airport is expected to be operational by 2013, said KIAL managing director and former civil aviation secretary V Thulasidas.

 Govt to have 26 pc stake

 The state government would hold 26 per cent stake in the new company. It will set apart 23 per cent for the public sector units, including oil companies, and two per cent to the Infrastructures Kerala Limited (InKEL). The remaining shares are open for individuals and cooperative societies to subscribe. The government has cleared equity participation from Leela Group of hotelier Captain C P Krishnan Nair and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS).

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