Kannur International Airport

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Kannur International Airport
Kannur International Airport logo.png
Airport type Public
Owner Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL)
Operator Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL)
Serves Kannur, Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kodagu
Location Mattanur, Kerala, India
Coordinates 11°55′N 75°33′E / 11.92°N 75.55°E / 11.92; 75.55Coordinates: 11°55′N 75°33′E / 11.92°N 75.55°E / 11.92; 75.55
Website www.kannurairport.in
   is located in Kerala
   is located in India
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 4,000 13,123 Asphalt

Kannur International Airport (IATA: -, ICAO: VOKN) is an upcoming International Airport under construction at Mattanur in Kannur District, 25 kilometers from the cities of Kannur and Thalassery in the state of Kerala, India. It is being built on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) of which Airports Authority of India has an equity stake of 10 percent[1] while the state has stake of 35%, PSU 25% and investors 30%. KIAL intends Kannur International Airport to become a major airport.

The airport will be the second Greenfield airport to be set up in Kerala after Cochin. Once completed it will be the fourth[2] and largest international airport in Kerala after Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut. The project is spread over 2,061 acres (834 ha). When commercial operations of Kannur International Airport begins, it is expected to reduce the passenger traffic at Calicut international airport by 55 percent and Mangalore International Airport by 40 percent.

The airport is expected to begin commercial operations in mid 2017[3] which will provide an international gateway in the Malabar region with state-of-the art facilities to support safe, efficient, cost effective travel for foreign tourists and ‘non-resident’ Indians from Kerala as well as domestic passengers.

As per the January 2017 status report of the project posted on the website of KIAL, the commercial operations of Kannur International Airport is expected to begin by the end of August 2017.


The airport project was initiated in 1996, when C.M. Ibrahim was the civil aviation minister. With his help, the E.K. Nayanar-led state government pursued the project in 1997 with the proposal of a Greenfield Airport at Kannur. The Government of Kerala appointed Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) as a Nodal agency in January 1998 for implementation of the project. The latter was appointed to undertake feasibility studies which were submitted to the Government of India in 2005. The proposal for the development of the ‘Kannur International Airport’ received ‘in principle’ approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in February 2008. "Kannur International Airport Limited" (KIAL) was founded in December 2009. The foundation stone for the Airport was laid on 17 December 2010.[4]

The Airport project[edit]

The airport will be built on 2,061 acres (834 ha) acres 25 km from Kannur. The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) submitted the detail project report in May 2012 and subsequently Aecom Asia[5] modified the Master Plan in August 2013. On November 2013, L&T was chosen to construct the runway, passenger terminal buildings and ATC building.[6] The construction work commenced in November 2013 and the completion target date is 31 December 2016 with commercial operations expected to begin by Mid 2017.

The new airport would be turned into a major aviation transit point and will have a handling capacity of 4.67 million passengers and 60,758 tonnes of cargo per annum by 2026, in addition to being able to handle 39,638 aircraft movements yearly with peak aircraft movement at 18 per hour.[7] The airport is also expected to act as a cargo hub for the Malabar region.

Passenger Terminal Building[edit]

The total area of Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of Kannur International Airport is 10,33,335 sq.ft. Peak house capacity will be around 2000 (Domestic and International) with a capacity of 5 million passengers per annum over the next decade. There will 24 Check-in counters, 32 Immigration/Emigration counters, 16 custom counters in the PTB. Passenger amenities include Duty-free shops, food courts and retail facilities. Green building concept has been adopted in design of the building. Future plans include 2500 peak hour capacity. The terminal will use energy efficient LED lighting. Future expansion includes a new terminal based on demand.

Passenger Boarding Bridges[edit]

There will be three Passenger Boarding Bridges (PBB) of which one will be code-F designed for the Airbus A380 when operations start with provision for three additional PBB in phase II based on demand. The airport will be fully capable of handling the Airbus A380 from the first day of commercial operations.

The first batch of 3 PBB's arrived in the airport on 16 August 2016.

Aerodrome Reference[edit]

Aerodrome reference for the airport is Code 4E. Critical aircraft are Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787, Boeing 747, Airbus A350, Airbus A330.


The runway length of Kannur International Airport will be 4000 m (13,123 ft) which is expected to be completed in Phase 1[8] of the project. The current length of the runway is 3050 m (10,010 ft) which was completed on 29 April 2016.[9]

  • The orientation of the runway is 07/25 which permits obstacle free approach.
  • Runway width is 45 m.
  • RESA 90 m x 240 m.
  • The parallel taxi way will be extended to full length of the runway including 2 rapid exits.
  • Construction of the 3050 m runway started in Q4 2013 and was successfully completed on 29 April 2016.[10]

On 9 September 2016, the Kerala CM decided to increase the runway 4000 m (13,123 ft) runway in Phase I[8] itself along with a full parallel taxiway to enhance safety as reported earlier.[11] Once the extension to 4000 m extension is completed, Kannur will be the fourth airport in India to have a runway length of 4000 m after Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.[8]

Future 2nd runway[edit]

Additional land is being acquired for a second runway planned in the third phase in Velliyamparamba which is 1 km north from the Kannur-Mattanur road. The airport in Moorkhanparamba and Velliyamparamba will be connected using a flyover which is considered an engineering challenge. It is a long term plan and the second runway construction is not expected until 2040 and will be based solely on demand. Land acquisition is being done now to prevent hurdles in the future for expansions.

ICAO Code[edit]

As per the status report as of April 2016 in the official website of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL), the lCAO code has been registered as VOKN.

Cargo terminal[edit]

The airport will act as a cargo hub for the Malabar region, especially Northern-Malabar region which has long been neglected. The construction of the cargo terminal is expected to begin in Phase II. The cargo capacity over the next decade is expected to be 60,758 tons per year.

Recent developments[edit]

Expected start of commercial operations[edit]

As per the January 2017 status report of KIAL on their website - Commercial operations are expected to begin at the end of August 2017.

  • As previously reported, Kannur International Airport to become operational in mid-2017.[12]
  • Although the previous government of Kerala had announced to open the airport by September 2016, L&T said this will only be possible by early 2017.[13] As per the India Airports Vision 2020, the commercial operations of Kannur International Airport is expected to start on 31 August 2017.

Current Status : January 2017[edit]

  • Work under full swing for target completion by April–May 2017.
  • Construction of fixed finger for passenger boarding bridges continues as of 03 January 2017.
  • Work on the car parking facilities.
  • Faccade works continue outside the passenger terminal building.

Recent Updates : December and prior 2016[edit]

  • Airfield Crash Fire Tenders arrived at KIAL site on 28-12-2016
  • Tiling work progressing further.
  • Jet Airways confirms operations between Kannur and Abu Dhabi in mid 2017.[14][15]
  • Toilet works inside the passenger terminal building are progressing well along with drain works nearing completion.
  • Lacquered glass work has begun inside the terminal.
  • Installation of smoke extraction fan inside the PTB is underway.
  • Roof-truss work nearing completion while work inside the airport continues at a swift pace.
  • The board of Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday decided to extend the runway from 3,050 m to 4,000 m in phase 1[8] itself versus the previous plan for extension in phase 2.[16] Other confirmed new facilities include flight kitchen and two hotels within the airport.[8]
  • Facade works have started while the High Mast Light works are nearing completion around the apron.
  • The first three passenger boarding bridges finally arrive in Kannur International Airport.[17]
  • Kannur International Airport to begin operations by June 2017[18] delaying the previous set March date by few months.
  • GoAir granted overseas operations, granted Kannur-Dammam services.[19]
  • Passenger boarding bridges components arrive in the airport awaiting installation - 16 Aug, 2016.
  • Power transmission trial for Kannur International Airport begins next week.[20]
  • Air India Express to be first major operator in Kannur International Airport - Airline official.[21]
  • In a meeting held between KIAL and airline representatives on 27 July 2016, Air India, Air India Express, Go Air, Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Air Asia India, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Silk Air, Gulf Air, Oman Air, Spice Jet, Emirates, Fly Dubai, and Indigo are the airlines that have come forward to operate in Kannur International Airport[22] when the airport becomes functional by Mid-2017. The meeting included giving airlines an opportunity to fine tune the airport as per their requirements.
  • Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo Airlines confirm interest to operate from Kannur International Airport, expected commercial operations start is expected in March 2017 after receiving clearance from the DGCA and a decision has been made to initiate procedures to increase the runway length to 4000 m.[23]
  • Floor trunking works at the check-in counters, operational boundary walls between the terminal and ATC are in progress along with flooring works, baggage handling system among others.
  • On 1 July 2016, The government appointed former chairman and managing director of Air India V. Thulasidas as the new Managing Director (MD) of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL). The news article also mentions the airport is gearing up for commercial flight operations in March 2017.[24]
  • 80 percent of the passenger terminal building has been completed as of 1 July 2016.
  • Installation of escalators, baggage carousels and roofing works were progressing as the 2016 Indian Monsoon season began on 8 June 2016.
  • Construction of OverRun and RESA at 07 side was in progress, Final works of taxiway was in progress, Construction of primary road approach.
  • Installation of air handling units of HVAC system at passenger terminal building was in progress.
  • Fire and electric works inside the PTB, tiling work, installation of AC ducts, construction of the baggage handling system inside the PTB while HT Power cables laying to the PTB and ATC was in progress.
  • Construction of the flyover, sewage treatment plant, supply water storage tank and pump house were nearing completion.
  • Geophysical investigation using ground penetrating radar in the runway area was conducted on 9 May 2016 and laying of liner sheet for roofing of passenger terminal building was in progress.
  • On 27 May 2016, installation of high mast light at the apron was completed.
  • Foundation work of the first three-passenger boarding bridges (AeroBridges) are under construction.
  • Runway completed on 29, April 2016 - The 3050 m runway part of Phase I was confirmed to be completed.[25]

Trial landing operation[edit]

The official date for trial landing was planned for 31 December 2015 but was delayed due to incessant non-seasonal rains that delayed runway work. In February 2016, The airport had obtained mandatory DGCA clearance [26] for test flight on the 2400 m runway which was completed at the time. The Government announced that it will conduct a test flight from the airport on 29 February 2016 with an aircraft belonging to the defense ministry.

On 29 February 2016 at 0906 hrs, the trial landing operation was successfully completed at Kannur International Airport by a Dornier 228 aircraft from the Indian Airforce registration number - VUBFN with Air Marshal R. Nambiar, a native of Kannur and co-pilot Wing Commander Vipin Neni from Pune at the controls.[27] The then Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Ministers K. Babu, K.C. Joseph, and K.P. Mohanan received the pilots after the landing. Thousands of people had thronged the project site to witness the event and the landing was greeted by applause by the cheering crowd.[28]

After a brief halt at the airfield the aircraft departed back to its home base Air Force Station Yelhanka at 1114 hrs. Mr. Chandy said when completed the new airport will boost development.[29]

Facilities in the airport[edit]


The apron at the airport will have 20 parking bays - Code C, 817 m x 153 m. Future plans include additional 12 bays of apron expansion.

Navigation aid facilities[edit]

Navigation aid facilities include DVOR/DME, ILS Cat. I, ADS-B.

Electrical and lighting systems[edit]

  • Runway edge lighting
  • Runway centre-line lights
  • Taxi edge lighting
  • PAPI for both runway approaches
  • Cat. I Approach light for Runway 25 and simple approach light for Runway 07
  • Guard lights
  • Stop bar lights

Fuel farm business[edit]

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will run the fuel farm business at Kannur International Airport in a joint venture with KIAL. The work for fuel farm is progressing at the site. According to the status report of January 2017 posted on KIAL website the fuel farm has an area of 25,000 sq.m.

Other facilities[edit]

  • Self Check-in counter.
  • Self baggage drop in counters.
  • Self check-in counters for those with hand luggage only.
  • Integrated terminal with foldable glass walls.
  • Flight Kitchen and two hotels within the airport.
  • 20 rooms at the ground floor for passengers to stay 2 or 3 days with towels, soap, etc
  • Integrated X-ray machines.
  • Battery powered buggy cabs for 4 passengers driven by driver inside the terminal for seniors and invalids.
  • Private cabin for breast-feeding.
  • Mobile App for booking conference hall in the airport, booking taxi, aircraft schedule info.
  • Food court for 200 people.


Total cost of the project is expected to be 31.99 billion (US$480 million), including peripheral structures such as staff housing, a convention centre and a shopping centre. The project will be implemented on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) basis and on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) model. The Kannur International Airport will be set up by a Government- led consortium. Thirty-five percent of equity will be with the Government of Kerala, 23 percent with Public Sector Undertakings, 26 percent with Airport PSU's and remaining 16 percent with private individuals and institutions. The Phase 1 project cost would be approximately 1892 crores including the cost of land. The development of the infrastructure project will be through global tenders in engineering, procurement and constructions (EPC) Model.

Infrastructure and connectivity[edit]


Kannur International Airport is located 25 km from the cities Kannur, Thalassery & 60 km Payyanur. The airport location is 19 kilometers away from National Highway 17 (NH-17) and 4 kilometers away from Tellicherry-Mysore Highway (SH-30).

More than eight roads are to be developed for connecting to the airport which includes:

ThalasseryMattannur road will be upgraded to 4/6 lanes, considering the availability of required land for widening. Other related roads will be widened and upgraded with high quality surfacing and constructing new bridges and culverts. Approximately, Rs.3 billion are expected as the cost for the development of access roads to the Airport.

Current Status of Road works[edit]

As of 17 January 2017, the road works leading to the airport are yet to begin but a report released in October confirms that approach roads to the airports would be completed by February 2017 published in a malayalam newspaper article.

  • On 26 July 2016, it was reported that the road works to the airport was moving at snail's pace.[31]
  • On the revised Kerala state budget announced in July 8, 2016, the minister announced to start work and completion of the roads leading to Kannur International Airport.[30]
  • On 2 July 2016, District Collector P. Bala Kiran brought to the notice of the Minister at a meeting held in Kannur with various government departments and ministers the urgency of developing seven roads to the Kannur International Airport.[25]
  • In August, 2015, a report released mentioned the lack of any progress for the above proposed road works even six years after they were planned.[1]


Kannur International Airport Railway Station[edit]

  • The approval of 'Kannur International Airport Railway Station' was announced in the railway budget of 2016 after the state government had discussions with the Central Ministry of Railways on a proposal.[32] Survey has started for the land required for this project. This proposed railway station will connect to the main Kannur Railway station providing alternative and affordable connectivity between the airport and main railway station.


Chipsan Aviation helicopter charter services providing heli-taxi services. Trail landing was done on 29 February 2016 at 0906 hrs, the trial landing operation was successfully completed at Kannur International Airport by a EC135 chopper VT-GSD.

Solar power system[edit]

Taking its cue from the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), Kannur International Airport is looking sun-ward to meet its energy needs.

A solar field in Cochin International Airport. Similar one will be built at Kannur International Airport
  • The initiative will begin in a small way with a one-megawatt (MW) project near the airport terminal.[30]
  • KIAL has already invited EoI for the 1-MW project, which will meet some of its internal power needs.
  • This first step in the solar way is expected to cost the airport Rs 4 to Rs 5 crore.


According to a detailed project report prepared by CIAL in 2015, 610,000 domestic passengers and 1.32 million international passengers are expected to use the airport.

The number of passenger estimated to use the airport in 2021 is 2.94 million. The number of international passengers is expected to be 2.03 million and domestic passengers will be 0.91 million.

The airport will have a handling capacity of 4.67 million passengers and 60,758 tonnes of cargo per annum by 2026.


Inspired by Theyam

Kannur is the land of Theyyam, a popular ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, and the logo represents the eye of a Theyyam. The red and black color shows the traditional costume of a Theyyam which is heavily dominated by colors. At the centre of the eye, an aircraft is seen taking off implying aerial ambitions of the city of Theyyams.

The logo design takes into account the culture of Kannur which is known as the land of 'looms and lores', and was well received by the citizenry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Equity structure of Kannur airport revised". The Hindu. 2016-02-02. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-07-03. 
  2. ^ Babu, Ramesh (29 December 2015). "Kerala set to get a fourth international airport in Kannur". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Kannur International airport to be operational by mid-2017 - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Kannur: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Lays Foundation Stone for Airport Terminal". Retrieved 2016-09-04. 
  5. ^ "Kannur International Airport Master Plan - AECOM". Kannur International Airport Master Plan - AECOM. July 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "L&T gets Kannur airport work". The Hindu. 6 November 2013. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Profile on Kannur International Airport | CAPA - Centre for Aviation". centreforaviation.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "With mega runway, Kannur airport to join the elite group". The Hindu. 2016-09-10. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  9. ^ "3,050-m runway ready in Kannur". The Hindu. 2016-05-01. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  10. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (1 May 2016). "3,050-m runway ready in Kannur". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "4000-m runway in next phase for Kannur airport". The Hindu. 2016-08-30. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  12. ^ "Kannur International airport to be operational by mid-2017 - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  13. ^ "Profile on Kannur Airport". CAPA. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Indiablooms. "Jet Airways expands India-UAE services | Indiablooms - First Portal on Digital News Management". Indiablooms.com. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  15. ^ "Etihad, Jet Airways announce new Abu Dhabi-India services - Gulf Business". Gulf Business. 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  16. ^ "4000-m runway in next phase for Kannur airport". The Hindu. 2016-08-30. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  17. ^ "At last, aerobridge reaches its destination". Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  18. ^ "Kannur International airport to be operational by mid-2017 - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  19. ^ "GoAir granted rights to fly overseas, to nine countries". 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  20. ^ "Kannur airport: power transmission trials next week". Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  21. ^ "Air India Express expands fleet, explores new routes". Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  22. ^ "15 airlines keen to operate from Kannur". The Hindu. 2016-07-28. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  23. ^ "Air India, Jet, Indigo to operate services from Kannur airport". Retrieved 2016-07-14. 
  24. ^ "Thulasidas to hold reins of KIAL again". The Hindu. 2016-07-02. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  25. ^ "3,050-m runway ready in Kannur". The Hindu. 1 May 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  26. ^ "Nod for aircraft touchdown at Kannur airport". The Hindu. 15 February 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  27. ^ "Kannur trial landing a success". The Hindu. 1 March 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  28. ^ "Trial operations at Kerala's 4th international airport successful". 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2016-06-26. 
  29. ^ "1st Trial Flight Lands In North Kerala, Oommen Chandy Says 'It Will Boost Development'". NDTV. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  30. ^ "KIAL Looks Sunward for Power Needs". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 

External links[edit]