Society played significant role in world-class terminal work

A delay in reviving the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Development Society (TRIADS) has hit the third phase development of the airport, including the construction of a new domestic terminal.

The functioning of TRIADS, set up in the 1990s by the government for speeding up the development of the airport and creating infrastructure, has come to a halt after the commissioning of the Rs.300-crore world-class terminal at Chakka in 2011.

The functioning of TRIADS, which played a major role in land acquisition and subsequent development of the world-class terminal complex, had now been confined to paper, a top civil aviation official told The Hindu.

In place of the Additional Chief Secretary, the District Collector has been holding the charge of the Managing Director of TRIADS.

The 20-member high-power society has elected representatives from the State capital as members. The Secretary of TRIADS had also moved on to a public sector organisation.

“The very significant role TRIADS played can be judged by the fact that the Revenue administration had handed over the land for the first and second phase development of the airport to the society for handing over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI),” says a former member of TRIADS.

Over the years, the society has played a significant role in the development of the airport on the city side.

With TRIADS becoming non-functional, there has not been any initiative for acquiring 32.8 hectares of land required for setting up the domestic terminal adjacent to the new international terminal building and to create ancillary facilities.

Final phase

The proposed domestic terminal was part of the third and final phase of the master plan conceived by the AAI in the 1990s.

The major portion of the land to be acquired and handed over to the AAI is on the thickly populated Karali-Vallakadavu side. As in the first and second phases, the administration anticipates opposition from the local people.

Following the delay in acquiring land for the final phase, the AAI has already wound up its Project Division.

The AAI had recently taken up the issue of land acquisition with the Chief Minister and reviving TRIADS figured in the recent meeting Union Civil Aviation Joint Secretary G. Ashok Kumar had with the Chief Secretary and the Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board.

Civil Aviation sources said the AAI had requested that the State should post an IAS official in the rank of Additional Chief Secretary or a senior official as the managing director of TRIADS to expedite the development of the airport in the coming months.