Calicut International Airport

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Calicut International Airport
കോഴിക്കോട് വിമാനത്താവളം.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Airports Authority of India
Serves Malappuram
North Kerala
Location Karipur,malappuram,Kerala, India
Hub for Air India Express
Elevation AMSL 104 m / 342 ft
Coordinates 11°08′N 75°57′E / 11.14°N 75.95°E / 11.14; 75.95Coordinates: 11°08′N 75°57′E / 11.14°N 75.95°E / 11.14; 75.95
CCJ is located in Kerala
CCJ is located in India
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 2,860 9,383 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2016 - March 2017)
Passenger movements 2,651,088(Increase15.0%)
Aircraft movements 19,726(Increase14.3%)
Cargo tonnage 14,023(Increase5.0%)
Source: AAI[1][2][3]

Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJICAO: VOCL), also known as Karipur Airport, is an international airport serving the Metropolitan area of Kozhikode,Malappuram and rural Malabar in Kerala, India. It is located in Karipur, about 28 km (17 mi) from Kozhikode and 25 km (16 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.[4] It is the third-busiest airport in Kerala after Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. It was given international airport status on 2 February 2006.[5][6]


Early years[edit]

The airport was inaugurated in April 1988.[7]

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[edit]

Apron view

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.

Widebody aircraft restrictions[edit]

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.[8] As of June 10, 2016, not much action has been taken for land acquisition to help increase the runway length.[9]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Sharjah
Air India Mumbai, Sharjah,Dubai–International
Air India Express Abu Dhabi,Doha, Dubai–International, Kochi, Trivandrum, Muscat, Salalah, Sharjah , Al Ain,Bahrain,Dammam,Riyadh,Ras Al Khaimah,Kuwait
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
IndiGo Delhi, Dubai–International,Mumbai, Sharjah,Doha,Muscat
Jet Airways Bangalore, Dammam, Doha, Mumbai,Abu Dhabi
Qatar Airways Doha
Oman Air Muscat,Salalah
SpiceJet Bangalore, Chennai,Dubai–International

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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.[10]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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.[12] There were no casualties on board.[12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • On 4 July 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-III" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-II" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-IV" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  4. ^ AAI traffic figures 2011-2012
  5. ^ "Calicut Airport". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  6. ^ Archive. "Calicut airport given international status". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  7. ^ "Silver jubilee does not bring cheer to Karipur airport users". The Times Of India. 2 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Devasia, T K. "Wide-body aircraft operations to and from Gulf to stop at Calicut - Khaleej Times". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  9. ^ "Plea to acquire land for airport". The Hindu. 2016-06-10. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  10. ^ "VT-DTH Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Narrow escape for AI passengers The Hindu 8 November 2008
  12. ^ a b Jolly, Asit (30 November 2012). "On a Wing and a Prayer". India Today. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  13. ^ Shooting incident International Business Times 11 June 2015
  14. ^ Engine failure: Narrow escape for 186 Air India flyers Times of India 25 April 2017

External links[edit]

Media related to Calicut International Airport at Wikimedia Commons