Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu on Saturday, following a meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, announced the opening of the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) in September.
Vijayan had met Prabhu in the morning along with his team of officials to discuss the finalisation of the Rs 1,892 crore-airport located at Mattanur, near Kannur, fast nearing completion in 2,000 acres of land.
"I have asked the Chief Minister to see that he posts someone in Delhi to follow-up on things connected with the Kannur airport. I have also asked my officials to see that everything goes forward and the airport can open in September," Prabhu told the media in New Delhi soon after the meeting.
With this, Kerala will have four international airports with the others at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The Kerala government has 35 percent stakes, 25 percent by public sector undertakings, 10 percent with the Airport Authority of India and the remaining 30 percent is with Cooperatives, banks and individual shareholders.
The first trial operation took place in February 2016, when an Indian Air Force aircraft landed for the first time at the airport and was received by then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Once completed the apron of the airport will have parking bays for 14 Code E aircraft or 20 Code C aircraft.
The airport will be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time and it is anticipated that KIAL will serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually, besides changing the face of north Kerala with tourism and business activities especially handloom, textiles and floriculture.
This airport will start off with a runway of 3,050 metres and in another 18 months after it opens, it will see its runway length increase to 3,400 metres and eventually it will touch 4,000 metres, making it one of the four biggest airports in the country, an official said.