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EoIs invited for feeder airport at Wayanad

Vinson Kurian | | Updated on: Jan 14, 2013

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has invited expressions of interest for consultancy for a proposed feeder airport at Wayanad in northern Kerala.

This follows invitation of EoIs for a similar project in Idukki district, and in keeping with the policy that envisages an airport at the headquarters of each of the 14 districts in the State.

FASTER MODES

The proposed international airport in Kannur and private sector KGS Aranmula International Airport in Pathanamthitta have already got ‘in-principle’ approval from the Centre.

Expression of Interest is now invited for ‘techno economic feasibility and environmental impact assessment’ for proposed airport at Wayanad, sources said.

Demand for faster modes of passenger transportation to Wayanad has been on the rise, thanks to steadily increasing domestic and international tourist flow, and rapid growth of business/ trading commuters.

Feeder aircraft services to Wayanad and back from the present domestic and international airports in the State and from important centres such as Mysore and Bangalore have been conspicuous by absence.

SITE IDENTIFIED

As per preliminary feasibility study by Airports Authority of India, the site identified at Panamaram, Wayanad, has been found suitable for the project.

It is envisaged to operate aircraft of capacity up to 50-60 passengers such as ATR-72, to start with, and those of capacity equivalent to Airbus 320, at a later stage.

CENTRAL POLICY

It is part of the Centre’s policy to build small airports across the nation to connect small towns to main air routes and airports, sources said.

Small airports and regional airlines are also the core theme of State Perspective Civil Aviation Plans (SPCAP) the Centre had asked State Governments to prepare a year ago.

At the behest of the Civil Aviation Ministry, many States have already started setting up small airports. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh ahead in this respect.

At least 11 small airports are at different stages of implementation in Gujarat, sources added.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 14, 2013
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