Latest Kerala airport project to be expedited

January 20th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 20 (IANS) The Kannur international airport project in north Kerala will be expedited, the state government said Tuesday. “We have decided to acquire 441 hectares of land under the fast-track scheme to speed up the Kannur airport project,” Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters here.

The proposed airport is to come up on a 2,000-acre or 1,250-hectare plot, of which nearly 1,200 acres or 750 hectares have been acquired. One hectare equals about 1.6 acre.

Kerala already has international airports at Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

The new airport that has been on the cards for the past one decade was cleared by the central government last year.

Former civil aviation secretary V. Thulasidas has been appointed the special officer for the Kannur airport. A pre-bid conference to identify the partner to build the airport will be held shortly.

The airport will be built on the private-public partnership model with the state government holding a 26 percent stake and the rest coming from the partner, which could be one company or a consortium.

About two million Malayalees work abroad, mostly in the Middle East.

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