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DGCA suspends wide-body flights for Calicut during monsoons

A view of the tabletop runway of Calicut airport. File

A view of the tabletop runway of Calicut airport. File   | Photo Credit: S. Ramesh Kurup

Aviation safety watchdog DGCA on Tuesday suspended wide-body operations at the Calicut airport during monsoon following safety concerns about the tabletop runway where an Air India Express plane crashed last week killing 19 on board.

This will impact the operations of Air India, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. All these flights will be diverted to Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin, according to a senior DGCA official.

Kozhikode plane crash | Death toll hits 18, probe begins

The regulator has also ordered the inspection of 12 airports in the country, which are vulnerable to heavy rains. These include Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthpuram, Cochin, Patna and Guwahati.

The move follows questions raised about the safety of the runway after the Air India Express crash. The aircraft involved in last week’s accident however was a narrow-body aircraft, a Boeing 737 aircraft.

Also read | 2011 report flagged unsafe conditions at Calicut airport

The move to suspend wide-body planes will be a financial setback for the airport too, which is one of the departing points for Haj pilgrims. Wide-body planes also bring large revenue to the airport through higher landing and parking charges.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 5:22:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dgca-suspends-wide-body-flights-for-calicut-during-monsoons/article32328900.ece

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