Kannur airport to see first aircraft’s arrival on January 15

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 1 (IANS) The first aircraft will touch down on January 15 in Kerala’s fourth international airport in Kannur city, an airport official said on Tuesday.

Managing Director of the upcoming Rs.1,890 crore Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) G. Chandramouli told IANS that the original schedule was that the first flight would touch down on December 31.

“The reason for the delay has been the prolonged unseasonal rains that have been coming down hard. Hence, the earthwork has got delayed. Rains have taken away almost 60 days of work and with water content remaining in the soil, the delay has occurred,” Chandramouli said, adding commercial operations would take a few more months.

The runway of the airport is now fixed at 3050 metres and land has also been acquired for a second runway.

When opened, Kerala will be the only state of the country having four international airports.

The funds for the airport project have come by way of debt and equity, with the Kerala government having a 35 percent stake with the rest of the equity coming from the Airport Authority of India and oil major BPCL. There are 3,000 individual shareholders.

“We are confident that the airport will be able to break even in five years and till that time we might require budgetary support. Dividends will be paid out from the sixth year and at the end of the 20th year, all those who have invested would get their entire investment back, through dividends,” added Chandramouli.

The Cochin International Airport, the country’s first airport in the Public Private Partnership model, opened in 1999 and since 2003-04 it has been making profits consistently. By now all the investors have got back 153 percent of their investment through dividends.

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