The land should be made available free of cost and free from all encumbrances, the Ministry said in its letter

Chief Secretary E.K. Bharath Bhushan has been advised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to make available 238 acres of land for developing the Calicut international airport at Karipur.

The land should be made available free of cost and free from all encumbrances, K.N. Shrivastava, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said in a letter to the Chief Secretary in response to reports in the media expressing concern over the condition of the runway of the airport.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal had directed civil aviation authorities to take steps for expeditious completion of the extension of the airport runway.

The runway, which is 2,860 metres long, is suitable for operation of A310/300 aircraft. There are only limited operations of B 747-type aircraft, which are operated with load penalty in view of the inadequate length of the runway. The letter points out that the runway end safety area (RESA) at the Karipur airport is 90 metres at both ends against the required length of 240 metres for a tabletop runway.

Only Air India and Emirates operate wide-bodied aircraft from the airport. Considerable stress is induced on the runway because of its inadequate capacity, and the excessive rainfall in the region accentuates the damage. The Airports Authority of India had prepared a plan for extension of the runway to 3,627 metres making it suitable for operation of B747-400 aircraft.

The AAI has also planned other activities, including construction of parallel taxi track, 240 metres of RESA at both ends of the runway, CAT-1 approach lighting system at one end, isolation bay, 300 metres basic strip at table top, 45-metre-high embankment around the tabletop and perimeter road and drain.

The AAI had already informed the State that it needed additional 238 acres for this purpose. Mr. Shrivastava informed Mr. Bharath Bhushan that the smooth operation of wide-bodied aircraft would not be possible unless the runway was developed.

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