It is likely to cost Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 7,000 from southern cities

Introduction of a one-day round trip to Sabarimala that will save money and time for the pilgrims is high on the agenda of the promoters of Aranmula airport project.

The project, which would be the first private international airport in the country, is banking on the business potential that exists because of the proximity to Sabarimala. Around 60 million people visit the temple, which is one hour drive from Aranmula.

Managing Director of KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd. Gigi George said the package, to be designed in association with the airlines, would be offered from major cities in the country. While the cost would be Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 7,000 from the cities in south India, the package from north Indian cities would cost Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 9,000.

Project obtains clearances

Addressing select journalists, Mr. George, said the project had obtained clearances from various ministries, including the MoEF. The promoters, he added, had applied for approval from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for an amendment they proposed in the design.

Expressing confidence of getting the approval by next week, he said the change was to facilitate better flow of a water stream.

To a query on the protests against the project, he said “We have taken the concurrence of everybody,” Mr. George said.

The project is being set up on 700 acres in the district at a cost of Rs. 2,000 crore and the Kerala Government has 10 per cent equity stake in it.

Commercial operations from Dec. 2015

On the project status, he said the airport would be ready for commercial operations in December 2015. The plan, he added, is to launch the Sabarimala package around the same time.

It is likely to cost Rs. 6 to 7,000 from southern cities