The 3,050-metre runway of the phase-1 of the Kannur greenfield international airport, the fourth international airport in the State at Mattannur, has been completed.
The two turning pads on both ends and the 7.5-m shoulders on the sides of the runway, which has a width of 45 metres, have been completed.
Official sources told The Hindu that the work on the 150-metre grading side strip on both ends of the bitumen-topped runway was on and would be completed next week.
When the “ferry” Code B aircraft of the Indian Air Force made its touchdown in Kannur on February 29, the strip available for the test flight was only 2,400 metres. The remaining 650-metre strip was completed in 60 days.
In phase II, the runway is to be augmented to 3,400 metres after acquiring 100 acres. The government has announced that the runway will be increased to 4,000 metres to enhance safety.
The sources said 68 per cent of the integrated terminal had been completed and the roofing works were on. Efforts were on to complete the works before the onset of the monsoon and then to take up interior works to meet the deadline for commercial operations.
The sources said 75 per cent work of the air traffic control was over. Works on the ancillary buildings - fire rescue station, power house, met park of the IMD, STP, service block, and the airfield ground lighting substation were progressing. The majority works of the fuel farm, a joint venture of the KIAL and the BPCL, had been completed.
The reinforced slope protection wall, part of the embankment, was the biggest challenge faced by the KIAL as only 30 metres of the 70-metre high wall was over. The IMD would install the automated weather observing system once the grading of the runway was completed.
Steps to procure lifts, baggage handling system, passenger boarding bridges and the four airfield crash fire tenders had been initiated. Tenders for the X-ray machines would be floated after the May 16 elections.