Calicut International Airport
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|Calicut International Airport|
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Location||Karipur, Malappuram, Kerala, India|
|Hub for||Air India Express|
|Elevation AMSL||104 m / 342 ft|
|Statistics (April 2017 - March 2018)|
Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ, ICAO: VOCL), also known as Karipur Airport, is an international airport serving the cities of Kozhikode and Malappuram in Kerala, India. It is located in Karipur, about 25 km (16 mi) from Kozhikode and 20 km (12 mi) from Malappuram. The airport serves as an operating base for Air India Express. It was the twelfth-busiest airport in India in terms of overall passenger traffic. It is the third-busiest airport in Kerala after Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. It was given international airport status on 2 February 2006.
The airport was inaugurated in April 1988.
Calicut airport gained its sanction after a long period of struggle, which began in 1977, under the leadership of freedom fighter late K.P. Kesava Menon. In the 1990s, Gulf Malayalis played an important part in the development of the airport - they collected funds for the purpose, when the Union Government said it did not have funds. 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 extension of runway from 6,000 feet to 9,000 feet to facilitate operation of big-bodied aircraft, were carried out, with loans from HUDCO.
It received the status of an international airport on February 2, 2006, which led to development in its infrastructure, for handling the operation of international flights from its terminal. It holds the distinction of being the 12th-busiest airport in India, and 11th-busiest in cargo handling, in terms of its passenger traffic.
Recent renovation, upgrades and expansion
Runway Re carpeting completed and 24-hour operation started on 1 March 2017. A 15,000-square-metre (160,000 sq ft) international terminal has been opened to passengers, similar to the spacious modern international departure terminal that became operational on 14 May 2007. Five conveyor belts have been installed at the arrival terminal. The approach to Calicut airport runway is surrounded with hills and valleys. The approach funnel area of the runway 28 is a thirty- to seventy-metre-deep (98- to 230-foot-deep) undulated valley up to a distance of 6,000 m (20,000 ft), immediately following the tabletop runway length of 2,860 m (9,380 ft). This terrain needs a special type of approach guidance lighting system to enhance safety for aircraft operations both during night and poor visibility conditions. Airports Authority of India have provided runway lead-in lighting system for the first time in India at Calicut airport as per the recommendations of the DGCA.
The state government has given orders for a feasibility study to begin an airport based at Thiruvambadi in Kozhikode. The orders were given to Kozhikode and Malppuram district collectors and airport directors.
The project is based on a petition submitted by the Malabar Development Authority. The project submitted is to begin on the land owned by the Thiruvambadi Rubber Estate.
The Malabar Development Council argues that if this project becomes a reality, it would be a permanent solution to the problem of not being able to land bigger aircraft in the Karipur International Airport. Because of the issues with land acquisition and the denial of permission to land larger aircraft, a new airport is the only solution.
Because there already is 2150 acres of rubber estate in Thiruvambadi, only the land need to the acquired for the government. The project document also mentions that the estate management has already expressed their willingness to hand over the land.
Wide-body aircraft restrictions
Since 1 May 2015, The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has imposed the restriction of wide body aircraft such as Boeing 777 and 747 for a period of six months due to runway re-carpeting which had been long overdue at this airport. As a result, Emirates, Saudia and 2 Air India 747 flight operations had to move temporarily to Cochin International Airport during this time. The airport authorities have also expressed doubt about getting permission to operate wide-bodied aircraft from the airport even after the completion of the re-carpeting as the runway in the airport is not large enough for the operation of jumbo aircraft. AAI had earlier instructed all airports using widebody aircraft must have 240 m of RESA on each direction vs Calicut airports 75m. The airport Director K Janardhanan said the short runway was a major hurdle in operating the wide-bodied aircraft from the table top airport and the runway length should be extended from the current 2,850 metres to 3,150 metres to operate wide-bodied aircraft, he added. The major hurdle in extending the runway is the delay in acquiring the land which require a total of 385 acres of land for extending the runway and associated facilities. The state government has been finding the task difficult as it requires evacuation of 1,500 families living around the airport. As of June 10, 2016, not much action has been taken for land acquisition to help increase the runway length. Now the AAI has came to a Diside to get a safety area to avoid the aircraft falling from the table Top runway.
Reinstatement of Wide-body Aircraft Operations
As a consequence of prolonged protests by various NGOs (Malabar Development Forum and others), Gulf Malayalis, political parties, Kerala State Government and MPs from Malabar region, on 9th August 2018, DGCA gave approval for resuming wide-body aircraft(Code E category) operations from Calicut International Airport.   In the beginning, Saudia has been given permission to start nonstop flights to Jeddah,Riyadh and Dammam, using Boeing 777-300 ER,Boeing 777-200 ER and Airbus 330-300. 
Airlines and destinations
|Air India||Dubai-International, Mumbai, Sharjah|
|Air India Express||Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai-International, Kochi, Kuwait, Muscat, Ras Al Khaimah, Riyadh, Salalah, Sharjah, Thiruvananthapuram|
|Etihad Airways||Abu Dhabi|
|Gulf Air||Bahrain |
|IndiGo||Abu Dhabi (begins 16 October 2018) , Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Doha, Dubai-International, Mumbai, Muscat, Sharjah|
|Jet Airways||Doha, Mumbai|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||Jeddah (begins October 2018), Riyadh (begins October 2018)|
|SpiceJet||Bangalore, Chennai, Dubai-International, Hyderabad|
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.
The two closest railway stations are Feroke railway station (around 18 kilometers from the airport) and Kozhikode Railway station (around 28 kilometers from the airport), which are connected to all major cities in India.
Pre-paid taxi services are available at the airport.
Accidents and incidents
- On 17 January 1969, 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 airport had been initialized as an air strip at "Chelari", a few kilometres away from the current location.
- On 7 November 2008 an Air India Airbus 310 flight AI 962 flying from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scraped its right wing tip on the runway on landing. Parts of the plane's wing broke leaving a mark on the runway.
- 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. There were no casualties on board.
- On 10 June 2015 an argument between Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) personnel at the airport escalated into a gun battle, leading to one person's death and serious injuries to two others late on Wednesday night.
- On 25 April 2017 an Air India A321-200 suffered an engine failure during take off, resulting in a left tyre burst. The take off was aborted and flight cancelled.
- On 4 August 2017, a SpiceJet Bombardier Dash 8 skidded on landing and damaged the ILS beacons. No one was killed and the captain landed and taxied safely to the terminal.
- Aranmula International Airport
- Cochin International Airport
- Kannur International Airport
- Sabarigiri International Airport
- List of airports in India
- List of the busiest airports in India
- Trivandrum International Airport
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