According to an aviation safety report submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2011, the runway at Calicut International airport where an Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the runway resulting in the death of at least 11 persons, was unsafe for flight operations due to inadequate safety area along the runway and at the end of the runway to safeguard against planes skidding off.
“The down slope at the end of the runway 10, on which the accident took place, has a very steep down slope. There is only a 90 metre safety area at the end of the runway, which should be at least 200 metres. Similarly, on both sides of the runway there is only 75 metre of safety area, when that should be at least 150 metres,” says aviation safety expert Mohan Ranganathan, who prepared the as part of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee.
“There has been no effort on the part of AAI to rectify the safety infringements ... The runway strip is just half the minimum width laid down. This fact was known to the DGCA... Have they considered the danger involved? Has the DGCA or airlines laid down any operational restrictions or special procedures,” Mr. Ranganathan highlighted in a letter to then Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Naseem Zaidi. It added that landing in wet and tailwind conditions could be a safety hazard. He also adds that it is important to clean the runway of rubber which gets deposited after every flight. The failure to do so can lead to aircraft losing control.
Significantly, the DGCA had ordered a safety audit of airports earlier this year after several airports saw instances of aircraft overshooting the runway or skidding during heavy rains.