Plan involves development of airport as hub of various transportation modes.
After gathering dust for many years, the Airports Authority of India has decided to go ahead with the much-hyped aeropolis multi-modal hub project in a phased manner. Airport director George Tharakan presented it as a key connectivity infrastructure for the city at a recent session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries. Mr Tharakan suggested integrating the airport with the Parvathy Puthanar inland waterway, railway and the proposed light metro on priority. Already the airport enjoys direct access to the national highway.
The project, initially mooted by former airport director V. N. Chandran, involved developing the airport as a hub of various modes of transportation and aviation industries with the support of agencies like VSSC, Brahmos, Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology and Air India hanger. It enjoys geographical advantages of lying close to inland waterways, Arabian sea, railway line and national highway. Moreover, the airport is lying close to the heart of the city.
“We have suggested that the Kovalam – Veli leg of Parvathy Puthanar may be made serviceable so that it would be of much tourist potential,” said Mr Tharakan, who had also brought the project to the attention of the state government. A cruise terminal at Shanghumugham, connectivity to the Railway line passing through Chakai are the other components of the multi-modal hub. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) initiated a feasibility study in 2014 as directed by the government. Consultancy firm Knight Frank did the study, and KSIDC forwarded the report to the transport department in 2015 February for initiating action by forming a high-level committee.