: The Kerala government, which has opposed the Centre's plan to bring Thiruvananthapuram airport under the PPP mode, Wednesday said it was prepared to take it over and run its operations on the model of the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL).
Chief Minister Pinararyi Vijayan stated this after inaugurating the renovated domestic Terminal (T-1) and also the enhanced solar power production capacity of Kochi airport.
The terminal, which earlier handled international operations, was reconstructed as per global standards at a cost of Rs 240 crore to cater to the rise in footfalls of domestic travellers.
Renovation works were carried out on the lines of the state's traditional architectural style 'Ettukettu'.
Vijayan said the government has already conveyed its opposition against the centre's move to manage this airport, among six in the country, under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
The government had also made it clear that it was ready to take over Thiruvananthapuram airport if the Centre went ahead with its plan, he said.
Recently the union cabinet approved a proposal to manage Thiruvananthapuram, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati and Mangaluru airports under the PPP mode.
"Even while acquiring the land for the Thiruvananthapuram airport, there was a certain understanding between the Centre and the state over its operation.
The state government is now managing the Kannur airport and the Kochi airport is functioning well.
We're ready to form a Special Purpose Vehicle and take over the Thiruvananthapuram airport too," he said.
The chief minister said the operational efficiency of CIAL prompted the government to entrust it to Kovalom-Baikel (Thiruvananathapuram-Kasargod) Inland Waterways project.
"CIAL has turned into one of the most efficiently run institutions in the state", he said.
CIAL provided 25 per cent dividend to nearly 19,000 investors for the last fiscal. The state government, a major investor with around Rs 100 crore, so far received Rs 230 crore as dividend, he said.
This year alone, the state got Rs 31 crore profit share from CIAL, he said.
While the domestic aviation market grew by 18 per cent, CIAL has been experiencing 24 per cent growth in this sector when it handled nearly five million passengers in 2017-18.
The renovated terminal can handle 4,000 passengers per hour (five times the earlier capacity) as the total terminal area has been increased to six lakh square feet from the earlier one lakh square feet.
There are 56 check-in counters, including four with self bag drop facility. A total of 2,600 cars can be parked in the parking yard of Terminal-1.
The renovation work was completed in 18 months when the domestic operations were carried out from Terminal-2.
The 'International' terminal-3, constructed at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore, was opened to passengers last year.
The solar production capacity has been enhanced to 40 MWp. Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the car park at Terminal-1.
The commissioning of the new carport for T-1 will make the airport the largest solar carport (5.1 MWp) in the world.
CIAL is the winner of the UN's Champion of Earth Award-2018, a release said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)