Calicut airport’s tabletop runway proves its prowess

The Calicut airport has a runway length of 2,700 m, the shortest of the four airports in the State.  

The tabletop runway of the Calicut airport may have been a hindrance to its expansion plans, but it has once again proved a blessing for air passengers when the Cochin International Airport was shut after its runway was inundated last week.

Calicut Airport Director K. Srinivasa Rao said the airport handled additional flights, both in the international and domestic sectors, and helped in flood relief operations from August 10. It also handled rescue helicopters of the Indian Air Force and the non-scheduled flight of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was in Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode.

“We are ready to meet any eventualities in the future as well,” said Mr. Rao.

The airport has a runway length of 2,700 m, the shortest of the four airports in the State. The operation of wide-bodied aircraft, after a five-year-long wait, was a feather in the airport’s cap. Saudia, which commenced operation of wide-bodied aircraft from December last, is now operating big planes for the Haj season. The airline operated a Boeing 777-300 diverted from Kochi, for the first time, during the floods.

The Calicut airport has also geared up to operate flights following the partial closure of the Cochin International Airport for four months from November.

Flight operations will be regulated at the Kochi airport from November 20 to March 28, 2020, for the mandatory runway re-carpeting. The partial closure of the airport will not affect international traffic.

But around 35 domestic services will have to be rescheduled.

Last year, during the floods, the Calicut airport handled about 180 additional movements both in the international and national sectors since the Kochi airport was closed for more than a fortnight. It had also handled 77 rescue flight movements.

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Printable version | Oct 14, 2021 7:09:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/calicut-airports-tabletop-runway-proves-its-prowess/article29114776.ece

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