First phase of inland waterway project by 2020: CIAL

Kochi: The first phase of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Inland Waterway project will be completed by 2020, Cochin International Airport Ltd Managing Director V J Kurian said Wednesday.

“The project, proposing to connect 11 districts and three airports, will aid development of the state in a big way in future. We will give our full focus and energy for timely completion of the project,” Kurien said and assured Vijayan that the first phase would be completed by 2020.

Kurian gave the assurance while speaking at a function to mark the inauguration of CIAL’s renovated domestic terminal. The multi-crore project is planned to be completed in three phases.

The project is being executed under a joint venture of the state government and the CIAL – the Kerala Waterways Infrastructure Ltd (KWIL), was earlier formed to implement the project. Kurien also thanked the successive state governments for their continued support that helped CIAL achieve amazing growth as an organization in the last 25 years.

V J Kurian

“Ours was the first airport in the country to be designed on the Public-private partnership (PPP) model. The successful financial model later got to be known as the ‘CIAL model’ and is widely applied,” Kurian said.

The managing director observed that the growth of the airport has also resulted in the development of the region, especially Nedumbassery village.

“The present staff strength of CIAL is 11,400 out of which over 4000 are residents of Nedumbassery, Kanjoor, Srimoolanagaram, Kalady and Angamaly. We have also tied up with the local self government implementing development projects in the region,” he said.

On the aviation industry, Kurian said the country has already become the third highest domestic airline market across the globe. “There were nearly 30 crore domestic travellers this year. The number of aircraft being operated by the airlines is set to increase to 1,080 from the current strength of 550. We’ve foreseen the growth and hence carried out the terminal renovation,” he said.