New policies reveal centre's intentions to privatise Karipur airport at cheap rate

Kondotty: Attempts are allegedly being made to hand over the Karipur International Airport to the private sector by degrading the standards of the airport.

The central government has included Karipur airport in the list of airports intended to be privatised. The recent developments in the airport including the reduction of the length of the runway implies that the government might have decided to privatise the airport at a considerably lower price.

When the re-carpeting works of the runway were carried out in 2015, it has been believed that such developments will add to the expansion of the airport. The officials had promised that the capacity of the runway will be increased fourfold by this and it will support the landing of large aircraft. But only years after the re-carpeting works, large aircraft started its services in Karipur. The international airline Emirates has not deployed its service in Karipur airport ever since.

Following the flight crash of 2020, large aircrafts ceased their services completely in Karipur. It dropped the number of international passengers in the airport. Along with this, the shift of a major chunk of the cargo exports to Cochin International Airport and the exclusion of Karipur airport from the haj embarkation point also added to the loss of the airport.

The airport incurred a loss of 30 per cent when the large aircraft were banned here. In 2019-20, Karipur airport marked an inflow of 27 lakhs of international passengers and a revenue of Rs 227 crore. Due to the Covid crisis, the total number of international passengers dropped to 7.12 lakh and the income was also reduced to Rs 63.09 lakh in 2020-21. In 2021-22, the revenue collection was recorded at Rs 96.27 crore and the number of passengers was marked at 9.11 lakh to date.

The value of the airport will be calculated by considering the inflow of passengers and the total revenue of the airport for the past three years. The removal of the visitor's gallery in the airport has caused difficulties for those who accompany the passengers to and fro the airport and also became a setback on the income.

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