Environment Ministry on Friday granted green clearance for an international airport in north Kerala's Kannur district.
"Today, the Government of India gave Environmental clearance for the construction of Kannur International Airport," Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters in New Delhi.
Chandy, who held talks with Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, said a global tender for construction of the runway would be invited soon.
"Now we can straight away go for the tender for construction of runway," the Chief Minister said.
The project involves construction of International Airport at Keezhallur and Pazhassi Panchayat in Thalassery in a total land area of 525.50 hectares with a proposed built-up area of 50,000 sq metre.
The proposal for the development of the Airport had received ‘in principle’ clearance from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in February 2008.
The techno economic feasibility project envisages to be approximately Rs 1000 crore (Rs 10 billion) for the airport.
When completed, Kannur airport would be the fourth international airport in the state after Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. The first phase of the airport would be completed by 2014 and the first flight would land at Kannur airport in 2015, officials said.
Earlier, a high-level Environment Ministry panel -- the Expert Appraisal Committee for Building Construction, Coastal Regulation Zone, Infrastructure Development and Miscellaneous projects -- had recommended the project.
About 30,421 trees are required to be cut to build the airport in a total land area of 525.50 hectares.
Considering the impact, the Ministry has asked compensatory tree plantation of at least 1:3 ratio and project proponents should bear the cost for its regular maintenance, sources said.
The proposed passenger capacity expected is 3,200 (international, arrival -- 1,600 and departure -- 1,600) and 1,200 (domestic, arrival - 600 and departure - 600).