The Kerala government said eleven international and six domestic carriers have expressed interest to start operations from the new Kannur airport, adding that all necessary work for commencing commercial operations will be completed by 2018 itself.
Eventually, Kannur airport will become the largest airport in the state, said the state administration.
The international carriers that have shown interest to start operations include Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Saudi Arabia, Silk Air, Air Asia & Malindo Air.
While Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, Indigo, SpiceJet and Go Air will operate domestic services, Vijayan said.
The chief minister said runway, airside facilities and terminal building have been completed.
In the terminal building, DFMD, HHMD, inline X-ray machine, baggage handling system, check-in counters, emigration check points, lifts, escalators and passenger boarding bridge are ready.
The land acquisition process for extending the length of the runway to 4000 meters is in progress.
An International air cargo complex, a 4-storey airport office complex, a 5-storey CISF residential complex, a 23-km long road along the boundary walls, lighting facilities and landscape beautification will be completed within the time frame of one year and six months, Vijayan said.
Speaking at the 24th Annual General Meeting of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the Chief Minister said a master plan to protect the Cochin International Airport and neighbouring areas from floods is being prepared and it will be ready by October 15.
CIAL's revenue grew by 13.57 per cent, the profit of the company rose by 29.89 per cent to Rs 3.87 billion.
Vijayan also announced that more facilities will be provided at the airport.
The renovation of the domestic terminal building is in the final stage. Steps have been taken to increase the capacity of the solar power system to 40 MW, he said.
CIASL, the aircraft MRO facility of CIAL, will become operational in this financial year itself.
CIAL is also involved in the development of the inland waterways from Kovalam to Kasargod.