The Kerala government on Tuesday formed a three-member team to identify the land where an airport can be built near the Sabarimala temple. According to government sources, the team, led by Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) P.H. Kurian, has been asked to submit the report in two weeks. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had got an informal sanction to build an airport near the temple town from Union Civil Aviation Minister Anand Gajapathi Raju in November last year.
Raju has assured Vijayan that the preliminary no-objection certificate for the airport would be issued once the land for the project is identified. The other two members of the team are Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) Managing Director M. Beena, and Pathanamthitta District Collector R. Girija.
During the previous Oommen Chandy government, a proposal by a private player to build an airport at Aranmula, in Pathanamthitta district got entangled in various issues and after the Vijayan government assumed office in May last year, it revoked the earlier sanction given for the Aranmula airport and started the search for another suitable land in the same district.