High-level meeting scheduled for January 3

The ambitious project to develop Thiruvananthapuram airport as a multi-modal hub in the transport system has gathered momentum with the State government convening a high-level meeting on January 3.

Feasibility study

The decision to convene the high-level meeting comes a day after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s directive to entrust the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), functioning under the Public Works Department, with the feasibility study on the project mooted by Airport Director V.N. Chandran and backed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Official sources told The Hindu that the meeting was convened in the capital city by the Principal Secretary, Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation, and the AAI had been informed of it.

Besides discussing the steps needed for developing the airport as a multi-modal hub, the high-level meeting would also discuss the cleaning up of the Parvathy Puthanar.

Parvathy Puthanar

The cleaning up of the water channel, which ran close to the world-class terminal complex of the airport on the city side, assumed significance in the wake of the announcement by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal to start cruise tourism from the airport side to the famed beach resort of Kovalam.

The meeting would be attended by the Principal Secretaries of Transport and Environment departments, Airport Director, Chief Engineer (I& A) and Director, Inland Navigation Directorate, the sources said.

The multi-modal hub’s prominence was also due to the Rs.300-crore terminal complex’s proximity to the VSSC and Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility of Air India Charters Ltd.

The facility is due to be fully operational by February 2013, with the commencement of “C” check.

The officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had already held talks with the AAI to explore the possibility of linking the premier airport with the proposed high speed corridor from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod, sources said.

Collaborative process

The AAI had suggested a collaborative process between airport management and the State for making the multi-modal hub concept a reality.