Kerala MPs urge Union minister to cancel move to shorten Karipur runway

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New Delhi: The Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia assured a team of MPs from Kerala that the ministry will call off procedures to shorten the runway at Karipur International Airport.

MPs ET Muhammed Basheer, MK Raghavan, Dr Abdussamad Samadani, PV Abdul Wahab, VK Sreekandan and Rajmohan Unnithan met Union Minister along with Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan. They handed over a letter of protest signed by 20 Parliament members from Kerala.

The MPs informed the Minister that the public stand against the move to reduce the length of runway at Karipur airport and therefore the move has to be immediately halted. The airport authority had decided to put aside 240 metres from both sides of the existing runway for the Runway and Safety Area (RSA). Hence, the letter urged to resolve a solution to broaden RSA outside the runway or establish EAMS (Engineered Material Arresting System) to ensure the safety in lieu of shortening the existing runway.

The area of RSA had been expanded in Mangaluru International Airport without altering the runway and the approach to broaden RSA in Karipur only by reducing the length of runway is ill-intentioned, the letter noted. The Centre had earlier excluded Karipur airport from the Haj embarkation points and stopped the services of large aircraft here. The letter requested the ministry to recede from the policies that could degrade the airport.

Civil Aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal, Joint Secretary SK Misra, Chairman of Airport Authority of India Sanjeev Kumar and Director General of Civil Aviation Arun Kumar also attended the meeting.

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