Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Sabarimala Airport To Have The Longest Runway In Kerala, Expected To Handle 17 Lakh Passengers In 2026

As per the revised Techno-Economic Feasibility Report (TEFR) submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation recently, the proposed Sabarimala airport would have the longest runway of Kerala’s four international airports (Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Cochin, and Kannur).

The runway at the proposed Sabarimala airport will be 3500 metres long, 45 metres wide, and will have 7.5-meter off-shoulders on both sides. Whereas the current runways in Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin are each 3400 metres long, Calicut's is 2860 metres long and Kannur Airport's runway is 3050 metres long, with room to expand to 4000 meters.

Sabarimala International Airport is a proposed greenfield airport project to be built in Erumely, in the Kottayam district of Kerala. The proposed airport's location is Cheruvally Estate, once the site of a rubber plantation.

The Sabarimala temple is part of the Western Ghats and is one of India's holiest shrines. Currently, the hill shrine can only be reached by road. The temple receives nearly 50 million pilgrims each season. Hence, the airport is considered a solution to ease traffic during the pilgrimage season.

According to The Times of India, once the project is finished, the airport will see an increase in traffic from 16.9 lakh (domestic and foreign passengers included) in 2026 to 32.9 lakh in 2035 and 64.2 lakh in 2052. In terms of cargo, the airport would handle 4.45 metric tonnes in 2026; this amount would rise to 7.85 metric tonnes in 2035; and 14.81 metric tonnes in 2052.

The project's anticipated cost is Rs 3,900 crore, which includes Rs 260 crore for land costs and Rs 3,400 crore for capital expenditure.

The TEFR and social impact assessment reports for the project were initiated in 2017 and were conducted by Louis Berger’s consultant agency. However, the Centre has returned the TEFR, citing technical shortcomings.

12/07/22 Swarajya

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