Calicut International Airport

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Calicut International Airport
കരിപ്പുര്‍ വിമാനത്താവളം.jpg
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorAirport Authority of India
LocationKaripur, Kondotty, Malappuram district, Kerala, India
Opened13 April 1988; 34 years ago (1988-04-13)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL104 m / 342 ft
Coordinates11°08′10″N 75°57′18″E / 11.13611°N 75.95500°E / 11.13611; 75.95500Coordinates: 11°08′10″N 75°57′18″E / 11.13611°N 75.95500°E / 11.13611; 75.95500
WebsiteCalicut Airport
CCJ is located in Kerala
CCJ is located in India
CCJ is located in Middle East
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 2,860 9,383 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2021 - March 2022)
Passengers1,665,145 (Increase 84.6%)
Aircraft movements15,008 (Increase 67.9%)
Cargo tonnage10,544 (Increase 13.4%)
Source: AAI[1][2][3]

Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ, ICAO: VOCL), also known as Kozhikode International Airport or Karipur Airport, is an international airport serving the city of Kozhikode, Kerala, India. It is located at Karipur in the Malappuram district of the South Malabar region. It serves the Malabar region, consisting of Malappuram, Wayanad and Palakkad. It is situated 28 km (17 mi) away from Kozhikode and 25 km (16 mi) away from Malappuram. It serves two of the seven metropolitan areas in the state—Kozhikode metropolitan area and Malappuram metropolitan area. The airport opened on 13 April 1988.[4][5] The airport serves as an operating base for Air India Express and operates Hajj Pilgrimage services to Medina and Jeddah from Kerala. It is tied with Hyderabad in terms of international traffic. It received international airport status on 2 February 2006.[6][7] It is one of a few airports in the country with a tabletop runway.


Early years[edit]

The airport was inaugurated on 13 April 1988.[8]

In 1977, the airport was sanctioned due to long periods of struggle under the leadership of the late freedom fighter, K. P. Kesava Menon. In the 1990s, Gulf Malayalis played an important role in the development of the airport - they collected funds for the purpose when the Union Government claimed it did not have any. This led to the inception of the Malabar International Airport Development Society, which helped raise funds for the airport's development. Consequently, major developments of facilities, such as an extension of the runway from 6,000 feet to 9,000 feet to facilitate the operation of large aircraft, were carried out with loans from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).

It received the status of an international airport on 2 February 2006, which led to more development in its infrastructure, for handling the operation of international flights from its terminal. It is the 12th-busiest airport in India in terms of its passenger traffic and 11th-busiest in cargo handling.[citation needed]

Wide-body aircraft restrictions[edit]

Since 1 May 2015, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) imposed restrictions on the operation of wide-body aircraft such as Boeing 777 and 747 for a period of six months for runway recarpeting, which had been long overdue at this airport. As a result, Emirates, Saudia and two Air India Boeing 747 flight operations had to move temporarily to Cochin International Airport during this time.[9] The airport authorities had expressed doubt about getting permission to operate wide-bodied aircraft from the airport, even after the completion of the recarpeting, for the runway in the airport is not large enough for the operation of jumbo aircraft. AAI had earlier instructed that all airports using widebody aircraft must have 240 m of Runway End Safety Area (RESA) in each direction, whereas that of Calicut Airport must have 90 m.[10] The airport director K Janardhanan said the short runway was a major hurdle in operating wide-bodied aircraft from the tabletop runway and the runway length should be extended from the current 2,850 m to 3,150 m to operate wide-bodied aircraft, he added. The major hurdle in extending the runway is the delay in acquiring the land which requires a total of 156 hectares (385 acres) of land for extending the runway and associated facilities. The state government has been finding the task difficult, for it requires relocation of 1,500 families living around the airport.[11] As of 10 June 2016, not much action has been taken for land acquisition to help increase the runway length.[12] The AAI decided to get a runway safety area to avoid the aircraft overrunning the end of the table-top runway. On 7 August 2020, wide-body aircraft have been banned from flying to CCJ after the crash of IX 1344, which overran the table-top runway.[13] As of November 2020, the airport does not have the recommended Runway safety area or Engineered Materials Arresting System installed. The land acquisition procedures for runway development are progressing as of July 2022.[13]

Reinstatement of wide-body aircraft operations[edit]

As advocated by various Malayali associations like KMCC, MCC and MDF and others, Gulf Malayalis, political parties, Kerala State Government and MPs from Malabar region, on 9 August 2018, DGCA gave approval for resuming wide-body aircraft (Code E category) operations from Calicut International Airport.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] In the beginning, Saudia has been given permission to start nonstop flights to Jeddah and Riyadh using Boeing 777-200LR and Airbus A330-300.[14][15] After three and a half years, the wide-body aircraft (Airbus 330-300) of Saudi Arabian Airlines from Jeddah landed at Calicut International Airport at 11:04 (IST) on 5 December 2018.[21][22][23] It flew back to Jeddah on the same day at 13:19 (IST).[24][25][23] Saudia has also resumed its services to Riyadh from Calicut in December 2018.[26] On 5 July 2019, Saudi Arabian Airlines flew with the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 to CCJ. DGCA gave approval for wide-body aircraft operations of Air India from Calicut International Airport using Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER, and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.[27][28] Emirates also secured approval from DGCA to operate Boeing 777-200LR and 777-300ER from Calicut.[27][28] Air India already resumed its service with Boeing 747-400 Jumbo aircraft and with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

On 7 August 2020, Air India Express Flight 1344, a COVID-19 repatriation flight on the Dubai-Kozhikode route, overran the tabletop runway upon landing in bad weather and crashed into the runway slope, killing 21 passengers. As a result, no wide-body aircraft has permission to fly to Kozhikode Airport, and as of 7 July 2022, runway renovation is in progress.[13] It was reported that wide-body airlines like Emirates had ceased flying to Kozhikode Airport due to the unsafety of the runway and the airport. Only low-cost airlines like SpiceJet and Air India Express are now flying to Kozhikode Airport, since they have narrow-body fleet that can land safely on the tabletop runway.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Apron area of the airport
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, Sharjah[29]
Air India Dubai–International (ends 26 March 2023),[30] Mumbai, Sharjah[31]
Air India Express Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai–International, Jeddah, Kochi, Kuwait, Muscat, Ras Al Khaimah, Riyadh, Salalah, Sharjah, Thiruvananthapuram[32]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
flydubai Dubai–International
Flynas Riyadh
Gulf Air Bahrain
IndiGo Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Dubai–International, Hyderabad, Mumbai[33]
Oman Air Muscat,Salalah
Qatar Airways Doha
SalamAir Salalah[34]
SpiceJet Chennai, Dubai–International, Jeddah, Riyadh[35]


The following cargo airlines fly to the airport:



Calicut International Airport is located between two National Highways. The closest one is National Highway 966 (NH-966) situated at a distance of 2.3 kilometers and the other one being National Highway 66 (NH-66) which is around 8 kilometers from the airport. NH-966 joins NH-66 at Ramanattukara, located 12 kilometers from the airport. This combined road network enables seamless connectivity to the north to Kozhikode, Kannur, and Wayanad, and towards the south to Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, and Coimbatore.


Kerala State Road Transport Corporation operates FlyBus (low-floor AC bus) services to the city of Kozhikode from the airport.[36] This is one of the cheapest available options to travel to the city. There are only a handful of these services so travelers looking for cheap options to travel can take an Auto-rickshaw to Airport Junction (2.8 km away) where buses are available to Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad etc.

An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 (registered VT-AXX) landing safely on the tabletop runway in 2015. It is similar to the accident aircraft (registered VT-AXH) that was destroyed in 2020.

The closest railway stations are Feroke railway station (around 18 kilometers from the airport), Parappanangadi railway station (around 20 kilometers from the airport), Tanur railway station (around 28 kilometers from the airport), Kozhikode railway station (around 28 kilometers from the airport), Tirur railway station (around 34 kilometers away), and Angadipuram railway station (around 37 kilometres away), which are connected to all major cities in India.


Pre-paid taxi services are available at the airport.[37] The airport is also serviced by Uber and Ola Cabs, online cab aggregators providing various options to Calicut city and for Outstation journeys.


Annual passenger traffic at CCJ airport. See Wikidata query.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 17 January 1969, a Douglas C-47A VT-DTH of Hindu Publications crashed on take-off. The aircraft was operating a cargo flight. Both crew were killed. At the time the airport had been initialized as an air strip at "Chelari", a few kilometres away from the current location.[38]
  • On 7 November 2008, Air India Flight 962, an Airbus 310 flying from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scraped its right wingtip on the runway on landing. Parts of the plane's wing broke, leaving a mark on the runway.[39]
  • On 9 July 2012, an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 skidded on landing, during heavy rain. The aircraft's landing gear impacted with runway beacons, breaking them.[40] There were no casualties on board.[40]
  • On 10 June 2015 an argument between Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) personnel at the airport escalated into firearm discharging, leading to one person's death and serious injuries to two others late on Wednesday night.[41]
  • On 25 April 2017, Air India Flight 937, an Air India A321-200 suffered an engine failure during takeoff, the aircraft temporarily lost directional control due to asymmetric thrust resulting in a left tyre burst when it impacted the runway edge lighting. The takeoff was aborted and the flight cancelled.[42]
  • On 4 August 2017, a SpiceJet Bombardier Dash 8 skidded on landing and damaged the ILS beacons.
  • On 7 August 2020, Air India Express Flight 1344 crashed upon landing at Calicut from Dubai during poor weather. After landing, the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, overran the tabletop runway, skidding off the end of the runway and crashing into a gorge. A total of 21 people, including both pilots, were killed in the crash. 15 people aboard were in critical condition and survived later.[43][44] The aircraft had been carrying out a repatriation flight under the Vande Bharat Mission.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annexure III - Passenger Data" (PDF). Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Annexure II - Aircraft Movement Data" (PDF). Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Annexure IV - Freight Movement Data" (PDF). Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Calicut airport turns 30". The Hindu. 12 April 2018 – via
  5. ^ "About Calicut Airport". Archived from the original on 4 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Calicut Airport". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  7. ^ Archive (2 February 2006). "Calicut airport given international status". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2006. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Silver jubilee does not bring cheer to Karipur airport users". The Times of India. 2 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Airlines pull out of Calicut International Airport". Business Traveller. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  10. ^ "No end to woes of Calicut airport". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 29 June 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 22 March 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ Devasia, T K. "Wide-body aircraft operations to and from Gulf to stop at Calicut - Khaleej Times". Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Plea to acquire land for airport". The Hindu. 10 June 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Karipur airport: land acquisition procedures for runway development progressing". The Hindu. 7 July 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Finally, DGCA gives nod for operation of wide-bodied aircraft at Calicut airport". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 10 August 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ a b "Green signal for jumbo aircraft". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 10 August 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ "Operation of wide-body aircraft from Calicut to commence soon: Suresh Prabhu". The Economic Times. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  17. ^ Staff Reporter (12 July 2018). "MP On 'save Calicut airport' mission". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Forum alleges conspiracy to downgrade Calicut airport". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 5 July 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ "Calicut airport expansion: AAI chief to meet CM". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 24 July 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  20. ^ "Calicut airport to see operation of wide-bodied aircraft: Centre". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Saudia (SV) #746 ✈ 05-Dec-2018 ✈ JED / OEJN - CCJ / VOCL ✈ FlightAware". FlightAware. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  22. ^ Staff Reporter (5 December 2018). "Big birds back in Karipur". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Big aircraft to return to Calicut from 5 December". The Hindu. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Saudia (SV) #747 ✈ 05-Dec-2018 ✈ CCJ / VOCL - JED / OEJN ✈ FlightAware". FlightAware. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Large plane lands at Calicut airport after three years". OnManorama. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  26. ^ "SAUDIA Press releases". Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  27. ^ a b "DGCA approves operation of big aircraft from Calicut". The Hindu. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Air India, Emirates get DGCA nod to resume jumbo flight operations from Karipur Airport". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Destinations". Air Arabia. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  30. ^ "Air India to suspend Kozhikode-Dubai service from Mar-2023". CAPA. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  31. ^ "Air India Schedule". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  32. ^ "Air India Express Schedule". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  33. ^ "IndiGo Schedule". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  34. ^ Karp, Aaron. "Oman's SalamAir To Commence Service To Four Indian Cities". Routesonline. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  35. ^ "SpiceJet Schedule". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  36. ^ Staff Reporter (4 July 2018). "Fly Bus services launched". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Kozhikode Calicut International Airport – Taxi options". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  38. ^ "VT-DTH Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  39. ^ "Narrow escape for AI passengers". The Hindu. 8 November 2008. Archived from the original on 10 November 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  40. ^ a b Jolly, Asit (30 November 2012). "On a Wing and a Prayer". India Today. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  41. ^ Varghese, Johnlee (11 June 2015). "Kozhikode Airport Shooting: CISF Jawan Killed, Two Airport Staff Injured". IB Times. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  42. ^ "Engine failure: Narrow escape for 186 Air India flyers". The Times of India. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  43. ^ "Air India jet breaks in two on Kerala runway". BBC News. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  44. ^ Sharma, Ashok; Schmall, Emily (20 April 2021). "Plane skids off runway in India; 17 killed, including pilots". Associated Press. Retrieved 7 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Calicut International Airport at Wikimedia Commons