Kerala’s Kannur airport to open in September

State will become the only one in the country to boast four international airports

New Delhi/Kannur: Federal minister for civil aviation Suresh Prabhu on Saturday, following a meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, announced that the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) will open in September.

Vijayan had met Prabhu in the morning along with his team of officials to discuss the finalisation of the Rs18.92-billion airport located at Mattanur, near Kannur, fast nearing completion in 2,000 acres of land.

“I have asked the chief minister to see that he posts someone in Delhi to follow up on things connected with the Kannur airport.

“I have also asked my officials to see that everything goes forward and the airport can open in September,” said Prabhu to the media in Delhi soon after the meeting.

With this, Kerala will become the only state in the country to have four international airports with the others at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.

The Kerala government has 35 per cent stake in the airport, with 25 per cent held by public sector undertakings, 10 per cent by the Airport Authority of India, while the remaining 30 per cent is with Cooperatives, banks and individual shareholders.

The first trial at the facility took place in February 2016, when an Indian Air Force aircraft landed for the first time at the airport and was received by then chief minister Oommen Chandy.

Once completed, the apron of the airport will have parking bays for 14 Code E aircraft or 20 Code C aircraft.

The airport will be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time and it is anticipated that KIAL will serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually, besides changing the face of north Kerala with tourism and business activities, especially encouraging the handloom, textiles and floriculture sectors.

The new airport will take off with a runway of 3,050 metres, but within 18 months of its opening, it will see the runway length increase to 3,400 metres, eventually stretching 4,000 metres, making it one of the four biggest airports in the country, an official said.


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