Thousands of men, women and children thronged the new international airport terminal set up at Mattanur in Kannur district of Kerala ahead of its inauguration in December this year.
The Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) opened the terminal to the public for a week as an opportunity for them to view the state’s latest major infrastructure project. The terminal’s doors have been opened from October 5-12, with visiting hours restricted from 10 am-4 pm. Visitors are required to carry proper photo ID cards. Parking facilities have been provided at the entrance of the airport, although no food/beverages are allowed inside.
People of Kannur from different parts of the district flocked to the airport along with their families. Visuals from inside the airport showed a massive crowd waiting to enter the terminal. CISF and other security officials have been posted to manage the crowds.
While the date of the airport’s commercial opening has not been decided, it is set to be inaugurated in December after KIAL got the aerodrome license from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). An Air India flight did a test landing at the airport last month and the runway was used by a Dornier aircraft to transport supplies and relief material during the recent floods in the state.
The airport will be a big boost for the people of Kannur, who have had to depend on either the Karippur airport in Kozhikode district or the Mangalore airport in neighbouring Karnataka till now. The airport has been built on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model at Mattanur, 30 km from Kannur town. Upon its inauguration, it will be the fourth international airport in the state — the others are at Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.