THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The techno-economic feasibility report prepared by Louis Berger, a private agency, for the proposed Sabarimala airport has drawn flak from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The site-clearance approval sought for the greenfield airport in not in tune with the Greenfield Airports Policy, said the aviation regulator in its report.
"The proposed site has an aerial distance of approximately 88km and110km from the Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram airports respectively. According to para 8.1 (of Greenfield Airports Policy), no greenfield airport would be allowed within an aerial distance of 150km of an existing civilian airport," the DGCA report said.
In case a greenfield airport is proposed to be set up within 150 km of an existing civilian airport, the impact on the existing airport needs to be examined.
“Such cases would be decided by the government on a case-to-case basis. Further, the appended map/charts to get the site clearance approval is not signed or authenticated by the surveyor and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the nodal agency for the proposed project, respectively, as the content of documents varies at various places,” the report said.
Stating that the private agency’s report seems unreliable, the DGCA said, "Any reliance on this report by any third party or external agency shall be solely at their risk and cost, with no obligation/liability on part of Louis Berger. No representation or warranty is given as to the reasonableness of forecasts or the assumption on which they may be based and nothing in this report is or should be relied on as, a promise, representation, or warranty."
There were also adverse remarks against the site identified for the runway. Louis Berger was entrusted with the task of preparing the techno-financial feasibility report and the environmental impact assessment report for the proposed Sabarimala airport.
The government had recently handed over the sketch and location map of the proposed Sabarimala airport to the civil aviation ministry. The High Court had set aside a state government directive to the Kottayam district collector to deposit the compensation amount before the land acquisition authority for taking over the Cheruvally Estate for the airport. A total of 2,263.18 acres need to be acquired for the project.