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Kerala mulls naming Cochin airport after Karunakaran

Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday said the state government will put up a request in the next director board meeting to re-name the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) after K. Karunakaran.

“There have been numerous requests to change the present name of Cochin airport after K. Karunakaran (former Kerala chief minister), who was the man behind the country’s first airport in the public-private-partnership model,” Chandy said.

“We know he had to face lot of opposition when he started to implement his dream project of the Cochin airport… But he stood his ground and today it has proved to be a resounding success,” said Chandy.

Chandy said issues like name change and other policy issues have to be taken before the annual general body meeting and for that it has to be first taken up at the director board meeting.

CIAL opened in 1999 and handles 181 international and 232 domestic flights in a week besides handling 11,000 passengers daily.

CIAL has been showing consistent growth since its inception and has been paying dividends since 2003-04. A new international terminal is being built at a cost of Rs.850 crore and is expected to be ready by February 2016.

CIAL has an investor base of 11,000 individual investors from 30 countries and the total paid-up capital of the airport is Rs.306.06 crore, of which the Kerala government has invested Rs.98 crore.