Good show by Calicut airport

Emerges as the seventh top international airport in the country

Despite the ongoing ban on the operation of wide-bodied aircraft and the partial closure of the runway, the Calicut airport has emerged as the seventh top international airport in the country, second after Kochi in the State, during the last fiscal.

The previous financial year saw the Calicut airport increasing its passenger volume by 18% and cargo movement by a whopping 35%. The airport expects to increase the international and domestic cargo movement by 35%.

J.T. Radhakrishna, Airport Director, told The Hindu here on Wednesday that the number of international passengers had risen from 22 lakh to 26 lakh during the period while the number of domestic passengers had increased from 4.3 lakh to 5.1 lakh. “The airport handled over 31.4 lakh passengers a year. We are expecting at least 18.5 % growth next fiscal,” he said.

The gross revenue of the airport increased from ₹133 crore in 2016-17 to ₹226 crore in 2017-18 while the profit rose from ₹7 crore in 2016-17 to ₹92 crore in 2017-18. “We expect the gross revenue to cross ₹305 crore and the profit to touch ₹162 crore in the current fiscal,” Mr. Radhakrishna said.

Major airport

Significantly, the increase in gross revenue has been attributed to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority decision on the tariffs with respect to landing, user and handling charges. The Calicut airport has been classified as one of the 12 major airports on the basis of traffic statistics in terms of actual passenger throughput.

“In fact, Calicut is ahead of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata in handling international passengers,” the airport director said.

Incidentally, the airport had suffered a loss of ₹1.3 crore in 2015-16 but the next year it made profit of ₹7 crore. Passenger volume had climbed down by 25-30% after the Airports Authority of India, following instructions from the Director General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA), partially closed the airport from June 1, 2015, to March 1, 2017, for strengthening and re-carpeting of the runway.

Mr. Radhakrishna said that the more airline companies should operate flights in the domestic sector to more cities in the South and North. “Certainly the international passenger volume will make a quantum jump if the DGCA approved the proposals of the Saudia, Emirates and Air India to operate wide-bodied aircraft,” he said.

The six-month partial closure of the runway of the airport following the expansion of the Runway End Safety Area has not disturbed the schedule of flights, nor the cargo movement. This would be lifted on June 15.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 2:57:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/good-show-by-calicut-airport/article23440199.ece

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