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New international terminal at CIAL to be ready in three years

Special Correspondent
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Facility will be able to handle 10 million passengers a year

Improved amenities: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy addressing the annual general meeting of Cochin International Airport Limited in Kochi on Saturday. — Photo: By special arrangement
Improved amenities: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy addressing the annual general meeting of Cochin International Airport Limited in Kochi on Saturday. — Photo: By special arrangement

A new international terminal will be constructed at the Cochin International Airport within three years. Announcing this at the annual general meeting of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) held here on Saturday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the new terminal, costing Rs.300 crore, will have a peak hour capacity to handle 4,000 passengers.

The proposed terminal would be capable of handling 10 million passengers per annum. It will be spread over 10 lakh square feet, with separate arrival and departure amenities. With the 16 additional bays of the new terminal, the airport will have around 40 parking bays, considered sufficient for the next 15 years.

The Chief Minister announced payment of 15 per cent dividend to shareholders. He said an agreement was arrived at ‘in principle' to settle the loan issue involving HUDCO. The demand for shareholding has been given up by HUDCO, after the Union government persuaded it in accordance with the State government's request. The final amount of dues will be worked out shortly.

Responding to various issues raised by shareholders, the Chief Minister said the government was seriously taking up the issue of irregular appointments carried out at CIAL during the last few years. The demand for extension of metro rail to Nedumbasserry could be taken up once the project is launched as per the current specifications, or else it could delay the launch.

The development of the Airport-Sea Port road would get priority. The proposal for the Angamaly-Nedumabasserry road would also be taken up. Proposals for a direct flight to Europe have already been submitted to the Union government and the Minister concerned is to visit the State to sort out the issues pertaining to various airports in the State, as well as new international flights.

V.J.Kurien, managing director, CIAL, later told the media that norms were flouted in 13 appointments to the managerial cadre and action was sought to be initiated. Scrutiny to find out any irregularities in other recruitments was in progress, he said.

He said the existing approach from Athani junction to the airport would be widened to accommodate four-lane traffic. CIAL is also proposing to construct a full-fledged indoor sporting complex with an aquatic stadium of international standards. Work on a trade fair centre, airport museum and 110 kV sub-station was in progress. Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty, Excise Minister K. Babu and entrepreneur M.A.Yussufali, were among those present at the meeting.

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