The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted approval for the construction of the Sabarimala International airport, based on the techno-economic feasibility study report submitted by the state government. The approval comes after a long-drawn process that involved the scrutiny of a steering committee under the Civil Aviation Ministry consisting of DGCA, AAI, and other government departments connected with the airport project. The Special Officer for the Sabarimala Airport, V Thulasidas, stated that the state has passed a major milestone in the technical side of the project.
Currently, the social impact assessment (SIA) study for the project in Erumeli South and Manimala villages, under the aegis of the Centre for Management Development (CMD), is in its final stages. SIA is mandatory for land acquisition under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act (LARRA) of 2013. The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is being done by Louis Berger, the company that prepared the techno-economic feasibility report for the project, and is nearing completion. Prior to this, soil tests were conducted for the project.
As per the latest government order, a total of 1,039.876 hectares (2,570 acres) of land in Erumeli South and Manimala villages in Kanjirappally taluk are being acquired for the construction and development of the airport.