Thiruvananthapuram: Since the previous Left government named major parks and popular meeting places in the state after Communist Party of India-Marxist leaders, people in Kerala are curious about the names the Oommen Chandy regime plans to give to the three international airports.
Incidentally, Kerala is the only state in the country which has three functional international airports and clearance has been given to a fourth at Kannur. These airports are currently known by their locations.
The oldest airport in the state and one which got international status during the regime of the V.P. Singh government in New Delhi is the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.
The Cochin International Airport Limited, which was the first in the country to come up under private-public partnership in the ’90s, was kick-started by then chief minister K. Karunakaran.
The third is located in Malappuram district and is known as the Kozhikode international airport.
One name which is certain to be Okayed is of Col G.V. Raja, who set the ball rolling for the Trivandrum airport and also one who started the Flying Club here.
A keen sports enthusiast and an accomplished pilot, Raja died in an air crash in Kulu Valley in 1971.
He is the husband of Princess Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore, the sister of Maharajah Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, and hence it is unlikely that his name for an airport would evoke any opposition.
With regards to Kochi airport, it is almost certain to be named after Karunakaran because he is the one who started this novel project.
As for Kozhikode airport, the Chandy government is unlikely to create any controversy and is almost certain to choose a name from the ballads of Malabar.