Calicut International Airport. File photo | Photo: Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) accomplished an incredible milestone by completing re-carpeting work at Calicut International Airport in a record time of 120 days, much ahead of the scheduled date, an official statement said on Tuesday.
The project aimed at enhancing the safety standards of the airport was completed with an estimated project cost of Rs 60 crore including re-carpeting of the 2.86 km runway, fixing of Runway Centre Line lights and Touchdown Zone lights.
The re-carpeting work of any runway of over 2.5 kms takes 8 to 9 months on average. The work for re-carpeting the runway of Calicut International Airport commenced on January 27, 2023, and successfully completed on June 2, 2023, well before the onset of monsoons in Kerala.
The re-carpeting work included milling - i.e. removal of previous bituminous layer surface, re-carpeting (2860 meters long runway, runway shoulders, taxiway and RESA), providing glass fibre reinforcement grid and laying of Runway Centre Line Lighting (RCLL) and Touch Down Zone Lights (TDZ), which was completed in just 120 days.
This feat could be achieved by AAI owing to its meticulous planning and efficient project monitoring and execution.
According to the statement, airport runways are built to comply with internationally mandated standards. Frequent landing and take-off of flights lead to wear and tear of runways over a period of time. Natural weather phenomena like rain and sun also affect the runway surface.
Thus, depending on the volume of traffic and the variety of aircraft, the runway needs to be re-carpeted as per the operational requirements. This is done by taking into consideration various factors including, how busy the airport is and the variety of aircraft that it handles etc.
The re-carpeting of the 2.86 km Calicut Airport Runway and allied works were planned meticulously. As the runway was closed for operations during the day (NOTAM initiated for closure of runway), all daytime flights were rescheduled for the night. Since the closure of the runway was from 10 AM to 6 PM, this didn't have any major impact on the night traffic.
The work was planned in such a way that the runway was readied for landings and take-offs by 6 PM every day. Although Calicut Airport has 70 to 80 flight movements every day, less than 10 flights operate during day time (between 10 AM and 6 PM) and arrangements were in place to cater to rescheduled flights and the resultant footfall.
Calicut International Airport situated on hilly terrain surrounded by a lush green valley is known for its unique Table-Top runway. The airport is currently handling 70 movements and approximately 4000 passenger footfalls per day, the statement added.