In a function attended by Chief Minister and Ministers, a Dornier 228 aircraft landed on the new runway of the Kannur International Airport on Monday. Thousands thronged the project site to witness the event.
The aircraft of the Indian Air Force landed at the airport at 9.06 a.m. to mark the trial landing on the runway. The aircraft manned by Air Marshal R. Nambiar, a native of Kannur, and co-pilot Vipin Neni from Pune was greeted by applause by the huge crowd. The Chief Minister and Ministers K. Babu, K.C. Joseph, and K.P. Mohanan received the pilots after the landing.
The event was boycotted by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) alleging that the trial landing was organised as an election stunt as the project is incomplete. The Chief Minister said the commercial operation of the airport was likely to begin in September this year. The works were being scheduled with that target in mind. He said the government’s decision to construct an airstrip at Bekal in Kasaragod and helipads in nine places in the State would come to fruition as soon as Cochin International Airport Ltd. was entrusted with the works, he said.