KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd, which is developing India's first private airport at Aranmula, Pathanamthitta district, has received clearances for the project from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), according to the executive director of the developer.
"A team from the AAI visited the site of the airport and gave full clearance for the project. The Rs.2,000-crore airport project is expected to offer a significant development boost not only to Aranmula and Pathanamthitta district, but also to the entire region," said P.T. Nandakumar, executive director of KGS.
This airport, once complete, will facilitate the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple, as the airport will come up near the temple.
A statement from the developer Wednesday said recent reports of protests against the airport were based on rumours.
"There was a local shutdown to protest the inclusion of KGS the Aranmula Airport project in the recent Emerging Kerala meet. The project was not included in the Emerging Kerala investment meet," the statement said.
Nandakumar said that the KGS Group was committed to preserving Aranmula, which has been identified as a heritage village by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the implementation of the Endogenous Tourism Project.
"The airport project does not involve displacement of families. Land for the project has already been acquired. Fears on these grounds are completely unfounded," said Nandakumar.