35 bn expansion plan for Cochin airport

Thursday, 28 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs
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Kochi (Kerala): The Cochin International Airport, the first airport in the country built under public-private partnership, will be expanded with an investment of 35 billion ($790 million).

These investments would take place over five years, K. Venkitesweran, company secretary of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), said after its annual general body meeting aproved the expansion plan on Thursday.

"There are 18 projects which have been cleared, including a 6.40 billion IT park, an aviation academy, a maintenance and hangar unit, star hotels and a golf course, all which would come up in the 500 acres of land which is with CIAL near the airport," said Venkitesweran.

The meeting was chaired by CIAL chairman, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

CIAL, the first airport outside the ambit of the Airports Authority of India, was formed as public limited company with equity participation from the Kerala government, financial institutions and a large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs), a majority of which are Keralites based in the Middle East.

Traffic at the airport has picked up tremendously from 76 flights per week in 1999 when it was inaugurated to more than 315 flights of 11 domestic and 14 international airlines every week now.

"By the end of the current fiscal we expect the number of weekly flights to go up to 325. British Airways is expected to be the next international airline to land here before the end of the current fiscal. Four more international carriers have also applied for landing rights," said Venkitesweran.

The total number of passengers is expected to go up from 1.8 million during the last fiscal to 2.2 million for the current fiscal.
Source: IANS
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