Thiruvananthapuram [India], October 9 (ANI): Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas on Friday inaugurated the Flight Simulator Museum (Air Force Museum) set up by the Department of Tourism with the technical support of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Akkulam Tourist Village here, coinciding with the 89th Foundation Day of Indian Air Force.
The museum, which takes the visitors through a simulated flight experience and has several other riveting features, has been built at a cost of Rs 1.97 crore.
At the inauguration the minister said "This project will be beneficial not only for Akkulam and the capital district but for entire Kerala Tourism. The museum gives an opportunity to know more about Indian Air Force. The aircraft-model museum and the flight engine will be a novel experience for visitors".
Kerala Tourism had opened a new front that offers immense possibilities through the Caravan policy announced recently. The caravan parks will generate a lot of employment for local people. The Government will extend all support like quick approvals for electricity connection for setting up caravan parks. Caravan Tourism will also provide plenty of opportunities for local artists to perform before tourists, earn income and sustain the art forms, Shri Riyas said.
Air Marshal J Chalapati, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command (SAC), IAF, was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
In his address, Air Marshal Chalapati said, "the idea of setting up such a museum was mooted in 2018 and we got the nod from the government to go ahead with it in 2019. Kerala Tourism, which funded the project, was instrumental in the speedy execution of the project and it was completed in record time."
"We have two objectives in establishing the museum. One is to make it highly attractive to visitors and the second is to motivate the youth of Kerala to join IAF. The flight simulator installed here will give a realistic experience for all," he added.
The Air Force Museum project was conceived by Kerala Tourism in collaboration with Southern Air Command of IAF, whose headquarters is located close to the tourist village, to create awareness among the visitors about IAF and the importance of national security.
Kadakampally Surendran, MLA, who presided over the function, said, "For the conservation of Akkulam Lake, Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has given in-principle sanction for Rs 185.23 crore. Of the total budget, KIIFB has already given approval for Rs 64.13 crore. But the implementation of the complete project needs another Rs 96 crore, for which we are awaiting KIIFB's approval."
The museum was completed in two phases. In the first phase, around Rupees, 98 lakh was spent on landscaping and creating flight model structures. In the second phase, administrative sanction for Rs 99 lakh was given for the construction of museum interior and other related works.
The two-floor aircraft-model museum has all the most modern facilities. A flight cockpit model with a simulator and restroom facilities have been set up on the ground floor. The top floor has a Motivation Room for giving inspiration to visitors, photographs depicting the glorious history of IAF and an exhibition of IAF machinery.
V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, Kerala, in his welcome address, said the development of Akkulam Tourist Village is an important project for Kerala Tourism. The Air Force Museum is a key feature of the ambitious project being implemented by Kerala Tourism in the capital, he added.
Arya Rajendran, Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, said the Corporation would support all ventures like this in the tourism sector. She emphasised the need to maintain the museum and its surroundings properly for the promotion of tourism in the capital region.
Department of Tourism Joint Director Shri Shahul Hameed has proposed a vote of thanks.
Air Vice-Marshal D.V. Wani, SAC, IAF; Air Vice Marshal B.N. Kumar; Air Commodore J Jayachandran; and Ward Councillor Shri Suresh Kumar. S, were also present.
A total of Rs 9.34 crore has been spent for creating the musical fountain, renovation of the artificial waterfall, coffeeshop, bicycle track, renovation of swimming pool, children's park and sports equipment at the Tourist Village. (ANI)