Work on the construction of a new international arrival block at the Karipur International Airport will begin shortly after securing the final clearance of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The 17,000-sq metre block will have additional facilities, including more number of Immigration and Customs counters.

Speaking at an interactive meeting on the development of Karipur International Airport, organised by the Malabar Chamber of Commerce here on Thursday, newly appointed Airport director Peter K. Abraham said the construction would begin within two months as the tendering process had been completed. “We have already got environmental clearance from the State government and the clearance of the Union government is likely shortly,” he added.

Mr.. Abraham said the new arrival block, to be constructed on the ‘green building concept’, would have 48 Immigration counters and 20 Customs counters. “This will be in addition to the existing 14 Immigration counters and four Customs counters. Also, there will be five more conveyer belts.” .

The Airport Director said the In-line Baggage Handling System (IBHS) would be one of the latest facilities at the airport. “Trial run of the IBHS is under way and it would be operational at the earliest, offering fast baggage handling to the passengers,” he said.

Referring to the challenges before the Airport Authority of India for further development of the Karipur International Airport, Mr. Abraham said the acquisition of an additional 375-acre land was crucial to the cause. He said it could be considered the sole reason for its backwardness.

The Airport Director pointed out that the runway was of only 2,850 metres, which should be extended to 3,627 metres to ensure better traffic. The aprons too should be developed to manage the current number of 370 flights a week, he said.

Mr. Abraham said both aeronautical revenue and the non-aeronautical revenue had increased steadily. “In 2012-2013, the total aeronautical revenue was Rs.85.21 crore. Non-aeronautical revenue touched Rs.34.85 crore,” he said.

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