Runway development not possible in Karipur; acquire land for new airport, says AAI

By Our Correspondent

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New Delhi: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has asked Kerala to acquire land to construct a new airport for landing big aircrafts as runway development is impossible at Kozhikode International Airport. This was directed as runway development is more expensive. Larger aircrafts require longer runways to take off and land. The runway in Kozhikode airport is only 2700 metres long.

The AAI had proposed a plan to increase the length of the runway and had asked the state to acquire 435 acres of land for this. Though the government agreed to do this first, later they requested to reduce the area of land. This was finalized as 152.5 acres but even the land was not acquired, AAI officials said. With this, the AAI informed the ministry that runway development is not possible.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation made it clear that the decision on landing big aircrafts can be taken after evaluating the report of the expert committee on the Karipur plane crash. The ministry had appointed a 9-member committee headed by Pradeep Singh Kharola to assess the report, study the flaws in the airport and submit recommendations in two months.

The expert committee report had stated that the lapse on the part of the pilot led to the flight crash but there are reports that the length and width of the runway is not suitable for landing big aircrafts. So, a decision to bypass the report is rare, sources from the ministry pointed out.

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