Consensus on acquiring 8 hectares for the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, says Chief Minister

The prospects of setting up a new domestic terminal for the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, adjacent to the international terminal complex here, has brightened with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announcing on Wednesday that a consensus had been reached for acquiring 8 hectares of land.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Airport Director V.N. Chandran had been putting pressure on the State government for providing 32.8 hectares of land to set up the new domestic terminal and ancillary facilities.

Mr. Chandy’s announcement, during an interaction with media persons, after reviewing the T-VoA facility in the airport terminal came in as a surprise. The Chief Minister said a consensus had been reached over acquiring 8 hectares of land and it would be handed over to the AAI soon.

Mr. Chandy evaded the query on whether any special package would be announced for those being evicted for airport development.

The Chief Minister said the land needed for the further development of the airport would be acquired in phases. “We will acquire the remaining land with the support of the people and their participation,” he said.

The proposed 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 to acquire and hand over 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 domestic operations are carried out from the old international terminal. The international terminal and the domestic terminal and cargo complex being on two locations have been creating problems for the operating airlines and passengers. The construction of a new domestic terminal adjacent to the international terminal will benefit passengers as it is close to the national highway bypass and the city.

Of the 32.8 hectares of land required, 39 cents will be from the coconut farm near Valiathura. The authority had also sought one hectare of land near the Arattu gate, near Vallakkadavu. The State had also been asked to provide 2.4 hectares for a parallel taxiing track.