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‘No steps taken to reduce runway length of Calicut airport’

Scindia gives assurance in Lok Sabha

February 11, 2022 07:50 pm | Updated February 12, 2022 07:51 am IST - Kozhikode

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. File

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. File

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has given an assurance in Lok Sabha that the length of the tabletop runway of the Calicut International Airport will not be shortened to facilitate the expansion of the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) so as to resume the operation of wide-bodied aircraft, which remains suspended after the Air India Express flight crash at the airport in August 2020.

In a written reply to a starred question raised by M.K. Raghavan, Kozhikode MP, who is also co-chairman of the Calicut Airport Advisory Committee, Mr. Scindia said no proposals were chalked out to reduce the runway length at the airport.

Previously, a move was under way to reduce the existing runway length of the airport from 2,700 m to 2,540 m to increase the RESA by 240 m on both sides. Four years ago, the length of the runway was shortened from 2,850 m to increase the RESA on one side.

Mr. Raghavan said the Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan had last week orally assured a delegation of MPs from Malabar that no steps would be taken to reduce the runway length.

However, Mr. Raghavan apprised the Minister of a document in his possession on an earlier directive issued by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in this regard. He said the reply given by the Minister was incorrect and that the officials were misleading the Minister and the House.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla intervened when Mr. Raghavan was preparing to speak again on the issue. Following this, the MP met the Minister again in the presence of Mr. Muraleedharan at the Parliament House and submitted to him an action plan issued earlier by the AAI to reduce the length of the runway. Mr. Scindia assured Mr. Raghavan that no steps would be taken to reduce the runway length.

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