Delay in land acquisition for expansion to be discussed

A high-level meeting will be convened in the capital city on Monday by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss and overcome the hurdles being faced in taking up further development of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

The meeting, to be convened at the initiative of Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal, will be attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, and Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman V.K. Agarwal.

The delay on the part of the State government in acquiring and handing over land for the proposed domestic terminal and the future of the Thiruvananthapuram Airport Development Society, which has become defunct, will come up at the meeting, a top AAI official told The Hindu.

Besides the Tourist Visa on Arrival (T-VoA) facility, the issues facing the Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility of Air India Charters Ltd. and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Aviation Technology will figure in the meeting to be attended by Minister for Airports and Ports K. Babu, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, and Mayor K. Chandrika.

The proposal put forward by Airport Director V.N. Chandran to develop the premier airport of the State as a multi-nodal hub and to create Aeropolis is also expected to be discussed in the meeting. The high-level meting, the first in the capital after Mr. Venugopal took charge of Civil Aviation, will discuss the flight operations of the Air India Express, the low-cost arm of Air India. Joint Secretaries in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation Alok Sinha and Ashok Kumar will attend the meeting.