Kerala’s fourth international airport, in Kannur, is slated to open on December 9 following an approval by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a top official said here on Friday.
Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) managing director V. Thulasidas confirmed the launch date, saying “we are ready for operations”.
KIAL authorities are trying their best to see that commercial operations commence soon after the inauguration, but the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will take a decision on that.
Already, 11 international carriers and six domestic operators have confirmed their flights out of KIAL.
The first trial operations were undertaken successfully at the airport on September 20, and a repeat rehearsal the following day. On Thursday, DGCA gave its final approval for the airport opening.
The airport, built at a project cost of Rs1,892 crores (Dh949 million), is located at Mattanur, near Kannur and spread over 2,000 acres of land.
With this, Kerala will be the only state in India to have four international airports, with the other three located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The swanky new Kannur airport has 24 check-in and 32 immigration counters. The runway will begin at an operating length of 3,050 metres, increasing to 3,400m in 18 months and eventually to 4,000m.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will be in charge of the airport’s security operations.
The Kerala government has a 35 per cent stake in the airport, with the remaining 25 per cent with public sector undertakings, 10 per cent with AAI and 30 per cent with cooperatives, banks and individual shareholders.
The first trial operation took place in February 2016, when an Indian Air Force aircraft landed at the airport and was received by the then Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy.
According to studies, the airport will be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time and KIAL will estimated serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually.
Published on 5 October 2018