Kozhikode

Govt. urged to acquire land for Calicut airport expansion

Concerns have been raised over the delay in Emirates and Air India resuming operation of wide-bodied aircraft despite both the airline companies securing NOCs for operating flights.

Concerns have been raised over the delay in Emirates and Air India resuming operation of wide-bodied aircraft despite both the airline companies securing NOCs for operating flights.   | Photo Credit: MITHOSHJOSEPH

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Airport advisory committee to send delegations to CM, Union Minister

The reconstituted advisory committee of the Calicut International Airport, which met for the first time on Saturday, decided to send delegations to meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri to speed up the implementation of some long-pending proposals for the airport.

The meeting, chaired by airport director K. Srinivasa Rao, urged the State government to acquire land for expansion activities. It also requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to introduce more flights for the benefit of passengers in north Kerala. Concerns were raised over the delay in Emirates and Air India resuming operation of wide-bodied aircraft though both the airline companies had secured no-objection certificates for operating flights under Code E.

P.K. Kunhalikutty, MP, chairman of the committee, and M.K. Raghavan and E.T. Mohammed Basheer, MPs, attended the meeting.

Mr. Rao said Air India had a plan to operate a wide-bodied flight to Jeddah, while Emirates would operate non-stop flights to Dubai. However, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has to grant permission to Air India for 12-hour parking at the airport for a direct flight that departs only in the evening.

In the case of Emirates, Mr. Rao said the Ministry had to clear a request from the airline company seeking around 2,500 seats every week. Emirates has already been granted point of call status at Calicut. The aircraft of a foreign airline can arrive and depart from an airport once it is designated as point of call.

He said Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, would operate services to Bengaluru following the partial closure of the Cochin International Airport between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for four months. The flight that departs from Agatti Airport, Lakshadweep, will have a stopover at the Calicut airport before proceeding to Bengaluru. However, there will be no changes for the out-bound flight that departs from Bengaluru via Kochi to Agatti.

Meanwhile, Malabar Development Council president C.E. Chakkunny demanded that the KSRTC introduce low-floor buses from the airport to Kozhikode and Kochi, synchronising with the flight timings. Besides, more taxi services should be permitted through pre-paid counters and linked up with Uber, he said.

He also suggested the opening of additional customs and immigration counters during peak hours and a full-fledged police station at the airport. Further, the airport should have tie-ups with specialty hospitals in Kozhikode city, Mr. Chakunny said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 6:52:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/govt-urged-to-acquire-land-for-calicut-airport-expansion/article30064833.ece

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