By Ashraf Padanna/Thiruvananthapuram
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will kick off construction of the 807,293-sq ft integrated passenger terminal of Kerala’s fourth international airport in the northern district of Kannur at 5pm today, officials said.
The Kannur district is home to a large number of expatriates.
The state government has asserted that the first flight would touch down before December 31 next year.
The organisers have shifted the inaugural function venue to the 800-seat Kailas Auditorium in the nearby Mattannur town from the airport site given the strengthening of monsoon rains.
Besides a host of ministers, officials and representatives of people, C M Ibrahim, the former federal civil aviation minister who gave the in-principle clearance for the project two decades ago, will attend the inaugural function.
The airport authorities have awarded the building contract for terminals and allied infrastructure to Larsen and Toubro, which started work on the extension of the 3,050-metre-long runway to 3,400 metres after acquisition of more land in January.
The runway construction is progressing despite strengthening of the southwest monsoon and 25% of the airside works, including taxiway, apron, compound wall and platform with an outlay of Rs6.94bn, has been completed in record time. The airport will be ready for commercial operations by May 2016.
“We have adopted a green building concept for the terminal which is to be built within 22 months at a cost of Rs4.99bn,” revealed G Chandramouli, managing director, Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). “The terminal will have a peak hour passenger capacity of 2,000, both domestic and international”.
There will be 48 check-in counters, 32 emigration counters, 16 escalators, four conveyer belts, 17 elevators, and a 750-metre cityside flyover besides numerous other passenger amenities like lifts, duty-free shops, pedestrian bridge leading to the car parking and food courts.
The parking facility can accommodate 900 cars and 25 buses at a time.
The integrated terminal is being planned in such a manner that it can be used for domestic flights when there are no international flights.
The “swing” facility is currently available at Mumbai’s T2.
L&T has agreed to complete the work before the stipulated 22 months.
The KIAL has also offered an unspecified “bonus” if the infra major completes the work ahead of schedule.
The company is liable to pay a penalty of 5% of construction cost if it fails to meet the deadline.
The outlay for the first phase of the project, conceived as the biggest airport in the state coming up in 2,000 acres, is estimated at Rs17.92bn with a debt/equity ratio of 1.29:1. The Canara Bank and South Indian Bank together have committed advances to the tune of Rs7bn.
The state government and its agencies hold 35% stake while the federal entities like Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has 19% stake.
Kerala-based State Bank of Travancore, Federal Bank and South Indian Bank have also invested in the project. Non-Resident Indian (NRI) tycoon Yusuffali M A, the single largest individual shareholder of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), has applied for shares worth Rs2.5mn.Last updated:
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