The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has granted its clearance to Kannur airport, which will become the fourth airport in Kerala after Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. DGCA’s chief BS Bhullar confirmed the development to The Indian Express on Thursday.
Last Saturday, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a series of tweets, had said that 11 international and six domestic carriers expressed their interest in operating from Kannur airport. These include Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Saudi Airlines, Silk Air, AirAsia, Malindo Air, Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir.
Built at a cost of Rs 2,292 crore and spread over 2,300 acres, the airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually and authorities estimate the number will increase five-fold by 2025.
“Runway, airside facilities and terminal building have been completed. In the terminal building, DFMD (door frame metal detector), HHMD (hand-held metal detector), inline X-ray machine, baggage handling system, check-in counters, emigration check points, lifts, escalators and passenger boarding bridge have been readied,” Vijayan had said, adding that the land acquisition process for extending the length of runway to 4,000 meters was in progress.
The airport has received a LEED gold rating for energy and environment conservation and has a solar power system.
“An international air cargo complex, a 4-storey airport office complex, a 5-storey CISF residential complex, a 23-km long road along the boundary walls, lighting facilities and landscape beautification will be completed within a time frame of one year and six months,” Kerala’s chief minister tweeted, adding that the necessary steps to commence commercial operations at Kannur airport will be completed by the year-end.
On September 20, Air India successfully landed its test flight at the airport. This landing was necessary for the aviation ministry to clear operation at the new airport.