Kerala becomes only state with four international airports after Kannur airport inaugration

Kerala becomes only state with four international airports after Kannur airport inaugration

Courtesy : Agencies12/12/2018 08:09

Fullling a long-standing public demand for a second airport in Malabar region of Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu on Sunday jointly inaugurated the Kannur International Airport. With this, Kerala became the only state in the country to have four international airports.

 Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram are the other three cities with an international airport.

The greeneld airport, built on a public-private-partnership model, stretches across over 2,000 acres of land at Mattanur, a town 25 kilometres from Kannur town.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 1,892 crores, the airport has an integrated terminal for domestic and international passengers, six aerobridges, a 3,050 metre long runway and can handle up to 2,000 passengers during peak hours.

 The airport will cater primarily to the people of Kannur and Kasaragod districts of Kerala and Kodagu region in Karnataka. It becomes an important and easy gateway for the thousands of NRI Malayalis working in the Gulf countries.

 At present, Air India and GoAir have released their schedule of ights from the airport, with more domestic airlines likely to commence operations shortly.

At the grand inauguration ceremony within the airport premises, attended by close to a lakh people, Vijayan and Prabhu jointly agged off the rst aircraft from the airport – an Air India Express flight to Abu Dhabi at 10 am. Passengers of the ight received a ceremonial welcome at the airport with ministers of the ruling Left government personally handing over boarding passes to them. Prabhu, later addressing the function, spoke of how the airport project could be a benchmark for the country’s aviation industry.

“This is a great day for Kerala and the aviation industry. Kerala has a high potential for growth by creating world class infrastructure.

This greeneld airport, built using futuristic technology is a symbol of how the future of aviation industry in India should be,” he said. The Union Minister also expressed condence that with commercial operations beginning at the airport, it will boost the state’s export of spices and marine products.

In his speech, Vijayan praised the leadership of late EK Nayanar, the Communist chief minister of Kerala in the mid-90s whose administration put into motion the first steps for the proposal for an airport at Kannur.

He also lauded the contributions of CM Ibrahim, then union minister for civil aviation, who mooted the idea for an airport and backed the proposal.

He gave a ‘big salute’ to the people of Kannur who always believed in the dream of an airport project in the district.

At the same time, the chief minister criticised the Congress-led UDF, without taking its name, alleging that it first opposed the project and then did absolutely nothing during its term in power from 2001-2006.

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