Government wants report by January 24

The government has asked Knight Frank India Ltd., which is carrying out the feasibility study for the aeropolis project around the Thiruvananthapuram international airport, to fine-tune the study.

The directive to fine-tune the study and to submit a report on January 24 comes in the wake of the assessment of an interim report by a high-level team headed by the Vice-Chairman of State Planning Board K.M. Chandrasekhar here on November 19.

The interim report had mooted a Centre of Excellence; more role in the aeropolis for the maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility of Air India Charters near the airport; and setting up of ancillary industries. Official sources told The Hindu that the agency had been asked to elaborate on the Centre of Excellence.

It had also been asked to highlight the USP of the project in the aviation industry and bring more clarity to fiscal incentives.

As land acquisition is a tough job, the agency was asked to avoid land-centric project.

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the nodal agency for the project, had also been asked to convene a meeting of all concerned to hear their views on the project.

The project was initiated by the State Planning Board on the basis of a proposal put forth by Airport Director V.N. Chandran to develop the premier airport of the State into a multi-modal hub.

The mission

Aeropolis envisages creation of a common platform for all aviation-related activities of major industrial and information technology units.

The Airports Authority of India and the project proponents wanted the multi-modal hub to be an integral part of the aeropolis, linking the first international airport of the State with five modes of transport — sea, rail, road, inland waterway, and air.

But, sources said the agency had not made any attempt in this direction and the interim report lacked visionary approach.

The government has announced that a special purpose vehicle will be set up for executing the aeropolis.