S. Anil Radhakrishnan
Runways to remain closed during daytime
Move draws flak from airlines, tourism industry
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The move to close the runway of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and the Cochin International Airport during daytime for linking the parking bays with the runway and for re-carpeting has drawn flak from airlines and the tourism industry.
The runway of the Thiruvananthapuram airport will be closed for two-and-a-half months from April and that of the Cochin airport for seven months from November. The move has been opposed as it would cause inconvenience to the passengers and airlines, especially those operating from Gulf countries.
Kochi accounts for nearly half of the total aircraft movement in and out of Kerala. Almost 200 out of the 400-odd weekly domestic and international flights in and out of Kochi will be affected by the closure of the runway.
Captains of the tourism industry have taken up the issue with Kerala Tourism as the movement of traffic for Volvo Ocean Race ‘port of call’ at Kochi will begin from November. Since it is tourism season, the movement of chartered flights will also be affected.
“It will affect the tourism industry and disrupt travel plans. A solution has to be found without affecting the flights,” says E. M. Najeeb, president, Confederation of Tourism Industry, Kerala.
The closure of the runway in the capital is being taken up as part of the Rs.245.58-crore world class terminal complex. The parking bays, being constructed at a cost of Rs.14.5 crore by AAI, would have to be linked to the 3,398- metre-long runway.