Kerala govt to form separate body to maintain TVPM airport

Kerala govt to form separate body to maintain TVPM airport
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to develop and manage the international airport in the state capital. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has been asked to register the company as the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited (TIAL).

The state chief secretary will be the chairperson of the company, while the transport and finance secretaries will be directors.

The move follows permission granted by the Union government for Kerala to form the SPV as requested by the state. The Centre had decided to develop six major airports in the public-private participation model and had proposed the inclusion of Thiruvananthapuram in the list. Kerala then demanded that the airport should be exempted and that the state should be allowed to develop and manage it with an SPV, which is a legal entity created for the specific purpose.

Kerala demanded that the the airport be entrusted to its SPV directly. In case a tender is floated, the state should get first priority in that. The state cited the development and management of Kochi and Kannur airports as proof of its capability.

Chief secretary Tom Jose and Transport principal secretary K R Jyotilal presented Kerala's claims in front of a high-powered Neeti Ayog panel headed by CEO Amitabh Kant. As recommended by the panel, the Centre then informed Kerala that the state is allowed to participate in the tender. As per the 'right of first refusal' facility, the others will get a right to enter the tender only if Kerala refuses it.

TIAL will be formed with a share capital of Rs 10 lakh. The structure of the company will be finalised after considering the norms set by the Airport Authority of India also.

Participation in the tender will be supported by the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), which observes the tender criteria. The Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL), KSIDC, KIFBI and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund will be allowed share in the SPV.

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