Two for­mer CMs not in­vited to Kan­nur air­port open­ing

Gulf Times - - INDIA -

Two for­mer chief min­is­ters who played a key role in the devel­op­ment of Kan­nur In­ter­na­tional Air­port Ltd (KIAL) have not been in­vited to its open­ing on Sun­day, Congress leader Ramesh Chen­nithala said here yes­ter­day.

Chen­nithala told the me­dia that it was rather un­for­tu­nate that V S Achuthanan­dan (200611), whose gov­ern­ment ac­quired land for the air­port, and Oom­men Chandy (2011-16), whose gov­ern­ment com­pleted 90 per cent of the work, have not been in­vited for the in­au­gu­ra­tion.

“To protest this high-hand­ed­ness of the Pi­narayi Vi­jayan gov­ern­ment, we (lead­ers) will not be tak­ing part in the in­au­gu­ra­tion. But we will not stop our po­lit­i­cal work­ers and oth­ers who sup­port the Con­gressled UDF to take part in the func­tion,” said Chen­nithala.

Vi­jayan, who hails from Kan­nur, has left noth­ing to chance to make the in­au­gu­ra­tion a grand spec­ta­cle.

The first trial op­er­a­tion at the air­port took place in Fe­bru­ary 2016 when an In­dian Air Force air­craft landed and was re­ceived by then chief min­is­ter Chandy.

Although both are vet­eran Marx­ist lead­ers, Vi­jayan and Achuthanan­dan over the years have never had the best of re­la­tions.

The Rs1,892-crore air­port is lo­cated at Mat­ta­nur, 16km from Kan­nur, and is spread over 2,000 acres.

“To protest this high­hand­ed­ness of the Pi­narayi Vi­jayan gov­ern­ment, we (lead­ers) will not be tak­ing part in the in­au­gu­ra­tion”

With this, Ker­ala will be the only state in the coun­try to have four in­ter­na­tional air­ports. The other three are at Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram, Kochi and Kozhikode.

The Kan­nur air­port will have park­ing bays for 14 Code E (B 777, 787 se­ries, A330 fam­ily) air­craft or 20 Code C (Boe­ing 737-700/Air­bus A-320/ Em­braer ERJ 190-100) air­craft and will be able to han­dle 2,000 pas­sen­gers at a time.

The KIAL is slated to serve more than 1.5mn in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally.

The air­port will start off with a run­way of 3,050 me­tres. The run­way length will in­crease to 3,400 me­tres, even­tu­ally touch­ing 4,000 me­tres.

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