Mattanur (Kerala): With over 85% of the works of the Kannur International Airport at Mattanur in Kerala bordering Kodagu district being completed, the works of passenger terminal building is under progress and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2018. Flight services are likely to commence from September 2018.
The new airport is coming up on a plot of 1,900 acres atop a hill at Mookapramabu, just 32.4 km from the border town of Makutta and 58.3 kms from Virajpet and about 90 kms from Madikeri. About 1,200 acres of land on the hill top has been levelled and the work on the airport is underway at a cost of Rs. 1,892 crore. Another 700 acre of land has been acquired for future expansion.
The airport is being constructed under Public Private Partnership model with Kerala State Government having 35% share.
Kodagu has already carved a niche for itself on the tourist map and the new airport at Kannur is expected to boost tourism. Incidentally, Kerala already has three International Airports in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode boasting to get the fourth one soon.
Even the road linking Kodagu from Kerala is being upgraded to a double road and the works are going on in full pace. Once the road works are complete, traffic between Kodagu and Kerala would increase too which would have a good impact on business between the two States.
Though the land for the airport was acquired way back in 2008, the work on the airport could commence only in Nov. 2013 owing to some administrative and technical problems. The bhoomi puja was performed on Dec. 17, 2010 by the then Kerala CM V. S. Achuthanandan.
The Kannur International Airport is poised to join the elite group of airports with a 4,000-metre runway. This will be the fourth international airport to be in the same class as Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, (4,430 metres), Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad (4,260 meters) and Bengaluru International Airport (4,120 metres).
The airport is expected to cater to about 8.5 million passengers in a year by drawing about 55% of passengers from Kozhikode Airport and 40% of passengers from Mangaluru airport. The airport is also expected to benefit flyers from Mysuru, Chikkamagalur, Hassan, Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts.
A runway of 3.5 km length has been made ready and a plane was made to land on it last year on an experimental basis. The runway is expected to be expanded to 4 km.
While IAS Officer Balakrishnan will be the Managing Director, Kerala Chief Minister will be the Chairman.
The Kerala Government has already proposed a rail link from Mysuru to Thalassery via Kodagu and a green signal has been obtained to commence the survey work.
Roads connecting Mysuru-Virajpet-Kannur and Hassan-Virajpet-Mattanur will be widened. It is proposed to make Kannur as an IT hub. With direct link between Mysuru and Kannur, there would be a boost for IT sector and tourism in Mysuru.
Boon to Kodagu
With a direct link from the Kannur Airport to Gulf countries a good market can be created in foreign countries for spices, anthurium, vegetables, coffee and other items grown in Kodagu.
A tourism zone will be formed now incorporating Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kasaragod and Kodagu districts to woo foreign tourists to home stays and resorts.