Airport Director V.N. Chandran had held a discussion with the Chief Minister

The prospect of a new domestic terminal, adjacent to the world-class international terminal complex here, has brightened with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) approaching the State government again for 32.8 hectares of land to set up the terminal and ancillary facilities.

The proposed domestic terminal, adjacent to the terminal complex that had come up on the Chakka side, was part of the third and final phase of the ambitious master plan conceived by the AAI in the 1990s.

The delay on part of the State government to acquire and handover the land required (for the domestic terminal) had forced the AAI to go ahead with the construction of the international terminal and commission it.

At present, international operations were being carried out from the New International Terminal Building (NITB) and domestic operations from the old international terminal which was refurbished.

Airport Director V.N. Chandran had recently met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and discussed land allocation and other issues concerning the airport.

As the domestic terminal and the cargo complex was on the Sanghumughom side, AAI sources told The Hindu that it had been creating problems for airlines and passengers. The construction of a new domestic terminal adjacent to the NITB would have benefited the passengers as it was close to the National Highway 47 bypass and the city. It would facilitate easier operations for the airlines, sources said. Of the 32.8 hectares sought, 39 cents would be from the coconut farm near Valiyathura.

The AAI had also demanded shifting of the Kaniyankara temple and the Chakka Oldage Home. The authority had also sought one hectare of land near the Arat gate, near Vallakadavu.

The State had also been asked to provide 2.4 hectares of land for the construction of a parallel taxiing track. AAI sources said the State had also been asked effect the essential changes in the Revenue records.

The State had spent Rs.41 crore for the approach road and a bridge across Parvathy Puthanar to the Rs.300-crore NITB. As much as Rs.100 crore had been spent to acquire land for the first and second phases. The functioning of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Development Society, set up to spearhead development works of the airport, had stopped a year ago.

Keywords: AAIlandterminal