In a major relief to the air passengers in Malabar, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday gave approval to Air India and Dubai-based Emirates to resume the operation of their wide-bodied aircraft from the Calicut airport.
Both the airline companies had submitted reports on the compatibility study and safety assessment for the purpose earlier. At present, only Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines) is operating wide-bodied aircraft after it secured the DGCA’s approval last December.
Air India had conducted two assessments in August and December last year and Emirates in March.
However, the operation has been restricted to day time for an initial period of six months. And this has to be reviewed thereafter for night operations.
Airport director K. Srinivasa Rao said that now both the airlines would have to submit their schedule to operate the flights. The schedules of flights had to be worked out in consultation with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the DGCA.
The DGCA had given the NOC to Saudia and the Calicut airport to operate Boeing 777-200 and the Airbus 330-300 under Code E and this would be reviewed after three years. However, Air India and Emirates had sought permission to operate different types of aircraft.
It is learnt that Air India had been given permission to operate Boeing 777-400 as well as Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Emirates would operate Boeing 777-200 Long Range and Boeing 777- 300 Extended Range.
The operation of wide-bodied aircraft was banned at the Calicut airport from May 2015 in the wake of the court of inquiry report on the Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in Mangaluru in May 2010.
A reason cited was that the tabletop runway had only a length of 2,850 metres designed to operate only narrow-bodied (Code-D) aircraft and that the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) of the airport was inadequate for the operation of aircraft under Code E.