Aranmula airport claims exemption from 150 km distance norm

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Pathanamthitta: KGS Aranmula International Airport officials have termed the news that the Parliamentary Sub Committee headed by Shri Sitaram Yechuri MP has recommended that the airport project be shelved, as false and baseless and an attempt at misleading the general public regarding a key developmental project in Kerala.

The Committee has recommended the dropping of the project on the grounds that ‘it falls within a distance of 150 kms’ of another airport. According to a statement from KGS Aranmula International Airport, the proposed airport is exempted from this norm as per the provisions of the Green Field Airport Policy promoted by the Government of India.

As per Para 8-1 (b) of the said policy, a Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of the Civil Aviation Secretary has been constituted to examine and to give approval for Airport projects falling within a distance of 150 kms on a case to case basis. This is further emphasized vide Para 9 (2) of the same policy and in accordance with this policy, the Government of India had already cleared more than 16 Airports in various parts of India including the Aranmula and Kannur airports in Kerala.

This policy has been specifically brought out by Government of India as there is 12 to 15% growth in Aviation Sector in India and this policy has been widely welcomed by almost all the States in India. Based on this, several States propose to make additional airports and have also brought out a State Civil Aviation Policy to attract private investments in their States.

As per the statement, the case of Aranmula airport and its requirement along with the comprehensive, developmental activity which will be initiated by this project has been evaluated periodically by the Airport Authority of India, DGCA, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Civil Aviation, State Government etc and it is worthy to note that after evaluating the project in totality, the Government of Kerala has taken 10% stake in this project, thereby making it a Public Private Project.

The statement also notes that if at all a Parliamentary Committee was to examine and evaluate a project; all the stakeholders have to be heard as an integral aspect of the principles of natural justice, which hasn’t happened.

Kerala Biz News

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