Friday, April 14, 2006

Sri Lanka invites Cochin for airport development

Mumbai: Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has received an invitation from the Sri Lankan government to build an airport in the island country.
CIAL will not only manage and operate the airport, but will also pick up a stake in the venture. "It is early days, though. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has to concur it," said VJ Kurian, managing director of CIAL.
CIAL landed the opportunity by sheer chance. The president of Sri Lanka, on his recent visit to the religious shrine in Kerala - Guruvayoor - stopped over at the Nedumbassery airport and was impressed by the cost at which it was built as well as its low operational costs. Not to mention, the airport's architecture and construction.
Sri Lanka is planning to have a second airport, 80 miles away from Colombo.
Sri Lankan government would hold stake in lieu of providing the land and CIAL will invest in building the airport.
According to sources, an international firm quoted around Rs 850-1,000 crore to build the airport. The Nedumbassery airport is spread across over 1,000 acres of land and it has been built at cost of around Rs 303 crore.
14/04/06 Reeba Zachariah/Times of India
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