Kozhikode

Calicut airport expansion: AAI chief to meet CM

The Calicut airport’s expansion plans have been facing hurdles since the DGCA banned the operation of wide-bodied aircraft in May 2015 and shifted the Haj embarkation point to the Kochi airport

The Calicut airport’s expansion plans have been facing hurdles since the DGCA banned the operation of wide-bodied aircraft in May 2015 and shifted the Haj embarkation point to the Kochi airport

Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra will soon hold discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Chief Secretary Tom Jose on the issues pertaining to Calicut airport, particularly the acquisition of land for its further development.

“Mr. Mohapatra was to have met both of them in the State capital and review the activities at the airport on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, but for the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament,” K. Srinivasa Rao, Calicut Airport Director told The Hindu . The proposed visit was in response to a request made by the Chief Minister to Union Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu last week.

The visit of the AAI chairman also assumes significance after Director General of Civil Aviation B.S. Bhullar assured a team of MPs from north Kerala that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would give the green signal for the resumption of operation of wide-bodied aircraft at the airport by July 31.

The airport’s expansion plans have been facing hurdles since the DGCA banned the operation of wide-bodied aircraft in May 2015 and shifted the Haj embarkation point to the Kochi airport. “One of the biggest problem that is hindering the development activities is the acquisition of land. Calicut is the only international airport in India having less space (380 acres) which is less than the Shillong Airport, a civilian airport located in Meghalaya, which has in its possession 460 acres,” he said.

Two years ago, the AAI had sought 248 acres for the expansion of the runway and the construction of a new terminal. Subsequently, this was scaled down to 135 acres, the airport director said, adding that the proposal was pending with the AAI corporate headquarters in New Delhi.

Mr. Rao said that land was also required for car parking. “Initially, we planned a multi-level parking on 15.25 acres in the low-lying area in front of the international terminal building. Following security reasons, a fresh proposal was submitted, demarcating parking space in front of the domestic terminal building. This project is pending with the State government,” he said.

New block

He said that the New International Arrival Block (NIAB) would be commissioned shortly. Accordingly, three new aerobridges would also come up at the airport. As of now, there are three aerobridges (passenger boarding bridges that connect the airplane’s door to the airport terminal). Currently, there are 13 parking bays. But the airport that operates 90 movements a day (45 arrivals and 45 departures) required more parking bays, Mr. Rao said.


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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 1:08:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/calicut-airport-expansion-aai-chief-to-meet-cm/article24504362.ece