The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has recommended reconsideration of the proposed airport at Aranmula on the grounds that it violates the government policy of not allowing a new greenfield airport within 150 km of an existing airport.
The committee headed by CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, in its report, a copy of which is with Express, said, “The committee finds that the proposed greenfield airport at Aranmula is 120 km away from Thiruvananthapuram and 90 km from Kochi, where there are international airports and it ‘is violative of the government policy of not allowing an airport within 150 km’.
The report further stated that the international airports in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are new ones.
“The committee notes that the proposed Aranmula airport is violating the 150-km distance rule and the saturation, in terms of capacity, of nearby existing airports. The committee therefore recommends that the proposal for the construction of Aranmula airport may be reconsidered by the government,” the report stated.
Before coming out with the report, the panel asked for existing guidelines for setting up a second airport within an airport limit, and found that Chapter eight of Policy on Airport Infrastructure indicates that no greenfield airport will be normally allowed within an aerial distance of 150 km of an existing airport.
A greenfield airport may be permitted where an existing one is unable to meet the projected needs of traffic or a new point of traffic emerges with sufficient viability.