Incidentally, Kerala is the only state that has three functional international airports, with the proposal for a fourth one at Kannur also getting a clearance. The oldest amongst all is the Thiruvananthapuram international airport that got its international status during the VP Singh regime in the Centre holds its pride of place in Kerala.
The swanky new Cochin International airport in Nedumbassery is the recent among the lot, having the recognition as the first in the country to come under the private-public partnership in the '90s. The airport was the brainchild of former Kerala CM K. Karunakaran.
The third airport is located in Malappuram district and is known as the Kozhikode international airport.
One name that is sure to have a consensus across party lines is Col G.V. Raja who spearheaded the operations for the Thiruvananthapuram International airport and who also kickstarted the Flying Club there. Known as a keen sports aficionado, he was also an accomplished pilot. He died in an air crash in Kulu Valley in 1971. Husband of Princess Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore, the sister of Maharajah Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma; Raja’s name will find an agreement among the various people in the state.
On the Kochi airport, there are also no chances of any opposition to the proposal to name it after Karunakaran considering his role to bring the airport into existence.
With regards to the Kozhikode airport, Oommen Chandy is likely to avoid controversy of any sort and chose a noted name from the ballads of Malabar.