In-principle nod in Pranab’s speech

President Pranab Mukherjee, while addressing the joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday, said “the Centre has given in-principle clearance to set up greenfield airports at Aranmula in Kerala, Navi Mumbai, Mopa and Kannur.”

KGS Group, a Chennai-based company, had earlier announced its plan to set up the KGS Aranmula International Airport at an estimated cost of Rs.2,000 crore by 2012. The company had purchased 240 acres of land from a private company, Aranmula Aviation Ltd, to set up the airport.

KGS managing director Giji George said the runway length of the proposed airport would be 3100 X 45 metres and the terminal building would be designed to handle 1,000 passengers at a time. The proposed airport is expected to cater to the travel needs of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and Alappuzha districts, which have been identified as the “influential zone”, he said.

Mr. George said the company had obtained the approval for setting up the airport in Aranmula from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government of Kerala. A statement from the company said the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had given approval for the project and the company was awaiting clearance from the MoEF.

KGS Group is planning to develop an aeropolis attached to the airport along with a special economic zone, hospital, shopping mall, hotels and an international school.

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