The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has given clearance for a greenfield airport at Aranmula in Keralas Pathanamthitta district. This would be the states fifth airport. Three international airports are already operational and another in Kannur is expected to begin operation in 2015. Several groups,led by the Hindu Co-ordination Committee,have been protesting against the Rs 2,000-crore airport project,promoted mainly by Chennai-based KGS Group. The new airport is coming up between the existing ones in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. The project has ran into several controversies over paddy field reclamation and encroachment of revenue land among other issues.
The BJP said the party would not allow the new airport,which would badly affect the heritage village of Aranmula. Senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran also regretted the Union Government decision.