Kerala's fourth airport to begin trials next month
(5 months ago)
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 23 : Kerala's fourth airport, in Kannur, will commence trial flight operations in January and is expected to become fully operational in September 2018, the Kerala Chief Minister's Office said on Saturday.
With this, Kerala will be the only state in the country to have four international airports with the others in the capital Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The Rs 1,892 crore Kannur International Airport, spread over 2,000 acres in Mattanur, is billed to be the airport completed in the shorted time in the country.
The state government has a 35 per cent stake in the airport, while 25 per cent is owned by public sector undertakings, 10 per cent is with the Airport Authority of India and the remaining 30 per cent is 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.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office pointed out that the airport has a runway suitable for operating Code E aircraft such as the Boeing B-777 and Airbus A-330. It will be extended later to make it possible to handle Code F aircraft like the Airbus A-380.
Once completed, the apron of the airport will have parking bays for 14 Code E aircraft or 20 Code C aircraft.
The airport will be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time. It is anticipated that it will serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually, besides changing the face of north Kerala in areas like tourism and business activities, especially handloom, textiles and floriculture.
Standing to gain through this new airport would be popular tourist destinations in the vicinity such as Coorg and Mysore in Karnataka, besides the hilly districts of Kerala like Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod.
Starting off with a runway of 3,050 metres, the airport -- in another 18 months, after it opens -- will see its runway length increase to 3,400 metres, eventually touching 4,000 metres, making it one of the four biggest airports in the country.