1980s – the Gulf boom has started to change the face of Kerala. With more and more getting employment in the Middle East, the small Navy controlled airport in Kochi is bursting at its seams. Technically too, the small airstrip is not made for passenger aircrafts. Even the narrow bodied Airbus A 320 and Boeing 737 needed 7000m runway and the Willingdon Island Airport was just 6000m long. The Government has to act.
The State government approached Union Government. A meeting convened in 1991 in New Delhi asked the State government to identify an alternate location. V J Kurian, the then District Collector was deputed to the state to find options.