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Monday, 17 April 2017

Civil Aviation Minister’s intervention sought to augment international connectivity ofCalicut airport



November 25, 2016: Greater Malabar Initiative (GMI) formed by industrialists, healthcare professionals and eminent persons to promote development of the Malabar region called upon Union Civil Aviation Minister Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s intervention for securing DGCA’s speedy approval for landing of wide-bodied jets at the Calicut airport – thereby strengthening  its international connectivity.A GMI team led by Chairman Dr. Azad Moopen submitted a memorandum to the Hon’ble Minister at his office in the capital today. The appeal sought to point out that augmenting Calicut’s international connectivity  is critical for promoting exports and tourism in the region. Currently wide-bodied jets are not allowed to land in the airport hindering international connectivity, especially with Gulf countries. Final work on the runway is expected to be completed by March next year.

Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman of GMI said, ‘’Calicut’s economic development hinges on international connectivity. The withdrawal of wide-bodied aircraft services has caused considerable hardship to travellers from Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts. Insufficient cargo movement hasalso hit farmers and exporters who send perishable goods to the Gulf countries.We have requested Hon’ble Civil Aviation Minister for his support to ensure that the necessary DGCA approval is accelerated as soon as the final re-carpeting work is completed in March next year. We are hopeful of a speedy clearance.’’

Calicut Airport commenced operations in 1988 with a short 6,000 feet runway. After 4 years, the runway length was extended to 9380 feet to enable bigger aircrafts to operate to Calicut connecting with Gulf countries through erstwhile Indian Airlines. In 2006, more international flights including Hajj flights were being operated using wide-bodied aircrafts. The airport was partially closed for re-carpeting and pavement strengthening since May 2015.