Karipur Airport’s future in jeopardy

137 acres required for the first phase of the expansion, and 248.3 acres for the second phase

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ports, fisheries and excise minister K. Babu said the future of Karipur airport would be in jeopardy if people’s representatives in the area did not take the initiative to create a favourable climate for the expansion of the airport. The minister’s comment in the Assembly on Monday comes in the context of the poor pace of land acquisition for the expansion work.

“If the 137 acres required for the first phase of the expansion are not acquired, the operations of the airport will be limited because of the constraints of the existing parking bay,” the minister said. For the second phase — for the runway expansion, parallel taxiway and isolation bay — 248.3 acres are required.

“Big aircraft like those of Emirates and Saudia would begin operations if the land required for the second phase is acquired,” the minister said. He said that while the Karipur runway has a length of 2,650 metres, even the runway of Kannur airport is 3,600 metres.

Mr Babu said the Karipur runway would be shut down for eight hours daily (from 12 noon to 8 pm) for 18 months from September 15 for the runway upgrading work.

He dispelled concerns that the partial shutdown would sound the death knell for the airport. “All services that had operated earlier will be restored.

What’s more, Etihaad and Indigo have resumed new services. Additional counters, too, will be set up to manage the rush,” the minister said. Still, if the passengers continue to face difficulties, the minister said that the state would approach the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The runway of the Kozhikode airport has been constructed with the strength, width and length to service only up to A 310 aircraft. But the constant landing and taxiing of heavy aircraft like Boeing 747 had weakened the 2650-metre runway.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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