Day-time flights at Calicut airport to be rescheduled for runway recarpeting from January

Airport officials said that the runway recarpeting and centre-line lights installation would take place from January 2023.

August 31, 2022 12:50 pm | Updated September 01, 2022 08:01 pm IST - MALAPPURAM

Calicut International Airport at Karipur, Malappuram, Kerala

Calicut International Airport at Karipur, Malappuram, Kerala | Photo Credit: SAKEER HUSSAIN

Day-time flight operations at Calicut International Airport at Karipur will be rescheduled for eight months from January next year as the airport is getting ready for recarpetting of its runway.

A team of Airport Authority of India (AAI) experts who visited Karipur on Tuesday examined the runway, the runway end safety areas (RESA), and other operational areas of the airport.

Eight months of work

Airport officials said that the runway recarpetting and runway centre-line lights installation would take place from January 2023. The work is scheduled to continue for eight months, and will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. so that day-time operations will be shifted to night.

The team held discussions with various stakeholders, including revenue officials, airline officials and airport officials. They also examined the 14.5 acre land acquired by the State government for the purpose of RESA expansion.

Need for RESA expansion

Officials inspect the site where Air India Express flight 1344  crashed when it overshot the runway at the Calicut International Airport on August 7, 2020

Officials inspect the site where Air India Express flight 1344 crashed when it overshot the runway at the Calicut International Airport on August 7, 2020 | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The AAI engineering wing will study the possibilities of building a high embankment for the runway and RESA expansion. As it is a table-top runway, any extension of the runway or RESA would involve a lot of filling work.

RESA expansion has become a crying need at Karipur, especially after the tragic crash of Air India Express flight 1344 on August 7, 2020, in which 21 people, including two pilots, were killed and 167 others wounded. It was assessed that a longer RESA could have prevented the accident. The flight from Dubai overshot the runway touchdown point while landing and fell off the tabletop runway into a depth after wading through the 90 metre RESA.

The RESA is proposed to be expanded to 240 m. The runway was shortened when the RESA was expanded a couple of years ago, forcing the wide-body aircraft to stop operations from Karipur. Runway and RESA expansion is a must for wide-body flights to resume operations from Karipur.

Also read: Expansion of tabletop runway at Calicut Airport a tough task

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