Kannur airport to be largest in Kerala, airlines ready to operate
Kannur airport to be largest in Kerala, airlines ready to operate

Kannur airport to be largest in Kerala, airlines ready to operate

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that 11 international airlines and six domestic ones have expressed interest in launching services from Kannur International Airport, which is expected to spread wings soon.

Pinarayi, also chairman of the airport company, said major Gulf airlines like the Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Saudia, and Silk Air, Air Asia, Malindo Air have shown interest to start operations from Kannur. Indian companies Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, Indigo, SpiceJet and GoAir are also ready to join in.

“The remarkable progress achieved in work on the airport in the past two years is a matter of pride,” Pinarayi said as he presided over the annual general body meeting of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL).

The Rs 694 crore EPC contract work, which includes the runway and the airside works, is complete, apart from the Rs 498-crore terminal building.

“We've also finished work on the DFMD, HHMD, Inline X-ray machine, baggage handling system, check-in counters, emigration check points, lifts, escalators and passenger boarding bridge inside the terminal.”

Air India's subsidiary Air India Air Transport Services Limited and Celebi Ground Handling Delhi Private Limited have been entrusted with the ground handling services.

Monte Carlo company will handle Rs113-crore work for an international air cargo complex, a four-storeyed airport office complex, a five-storeyed CISF residential complex, work on the 23 km road along the airport compound wall and its lighting, and the landscaping for beautification.

All this work will be completed within one-and-a half years, he said.

Land acquisition is in progress for runway extension from 3,050 metres to 4,000 as decided by the board of directors. “Once the 4,000-metre runway is ready, Kannur will become Kerala's largest airport,” Pinarayi said.

The airport needs nearly 180 employees at different levels. As of now 136 are in service. Recruitment process is on to fill the remaining posts.

“We've decided to provide jobs to one member each from the families that lost land for the airport,” he said. “Already we've appointed 29.” Rest of them will be appointed through the ground/cargo agency Air India ATSL. The company will issue appointment letters to them.

“The licence for the airport will be available soon, on the basis of tests and flight trials that have been conducted,” Pinarayi said.

The CISF has decided to deploy 613 officers for airport security. They will be assigned from October 1.

Kerala Police will be assigned immigration work on a temporary basis, he said. The procedures for commercial functioning of the airport is expected to be completed this year itself.

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