Calicut International Airport
Calicut International Airport
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Location||Karipur, Kondotty, Malappuram, Kerala, India|
|Hub for||Air India Express|
|Elevation AMSL||104 m / 342 ft|
|Statistics (April 2019 - March 2020)|
Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ, ICAO: VOCL), also known as Karipur Airport, is an international airport which serves the cities of Kozhikode and Malappuram, in Kerala, India. It is located in the Malabar region of Karipur, Kondotty, Malappuram. The airport opened on 13 April 1988. It is situated about 2 km (1.2 mi) from Kondotty  and 28 km (17 mi) from Kozhikode. The airport serves as an operating base for Air India Express and operates Hajj Pilgrimage services to Medina and Jeddah from Kerala. It was the eleventh-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 and it is also the only airport in the state with a Tabletop runway. Even though Air India Express is a hub it operates large number of flight operations daily than other airports in India. It is the focus airport for Air India, Indigo, Spicejet.
The airport was inaugurated in April 1988.
The Calicut Airport was sanctioned after a long period of struggle, which began in 1977, under the leadership of the late freedom fighter K.P. Kesava Menon. In the 1990s, Gulf Malayalis played an important role in the development of the airport - they collected funds for the purpose when the Union Government claimed it did not have any. 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 the runway from 6,000 feet to 9,000 feet to facilitate the operation of large aircraft, were carried out with loans from the HUDCO.
It received the status of an international airport on 2nd February 2006, which led to more 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 (in terms of its passenger traffic), and 11th-busiest in cargo handling.
Wide-body aircraft restrictions
Since 1 May 2015, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) imposed restrictions on operation of wide-body aircraft such as Boeing 777 and 747 for a period of six months for runway recarpeting, which had been long overdue at this airport. As a result, Emirates, Saudia and two Air India Boeing 747 flight operations had to move temporarily to Cochin International Airport during this time. The airport authorities had expressed doubt about getting permission to operate wide-bodied aircraft from the airport even after the completion of the recarpeting 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 whereas that of Calicut Airport must have 90 m. 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 10 June 2016, not much action has been taken for land acquisition to help increase the runway length. The AAI decided to get a safety area (RESA) to avoid the aircraft overrunning from the table-top runway. The RESA extension was completed in 2017; it was widened to 240 m from 90 m.
Reinstatement of Wide-body Aircraft Operations
As a consequence of prolonged protests by various Malayali associations like KMCC, MCC and MDF and others, Gulf Malayalis, political parties, Kerala State Government and MPs from Malabar region, on 9 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 and Riyadh, Boeing 777-200LR and Airbus 330-300. After three and a half years, the wide-body aircraft (Airbus 330-300) of Saudi Arabian Airlines from Jeddah landed at Calicut International Airport at 11:04 (IST) on 5 December 2018. It flew back to Jeddah on the same day at 13:19 (IST). Saudia has also resumed its services to Riyadh from Calicut in December 2018 itself On 5 July 2019,Saudi Arabian Airlines now flying with Beoing 777-300ER and Airbus 330-300 to CCJ.DGCA gave approval for wide-body aircraft operations of Air India from Calicut International Airport using Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER, and Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner. Emirates also secured approval from DGCA India to operate Boeing 777-200LR and Beoing 777-300ER from Calicut.Air India already resumed its service with Boeing 747-400 Jumbo aircraft and with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Airlines and destinations
All flights (except charter, vande bharath mission and cargo) are temporarily suspended until 31 May due to COVID-19.
|Air India||Delhi, Dubai-International, Jeddah, Kannur, 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|
|IndiGo||Abu Dhabi, Bangalore, Chennai, Dammam, Delhi, Doha, Dubai-International, Jeddah, Mumbai, Riyadh|
|Saudia||Jeddah, RiyadhHajj: Medina|
|SpiceJet||Bangalore, Dubai, Jeddah, Mumbai (begins 1 July 2020)|
The following cargo airlines fly to the airport:
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.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation operates FlyBus (low-floor AC bus) services to the city of Kozhikode from the airport. This is one of the cheapest available options to travel to the city. There are only a handful of these services so travelers looking for cheap options to travel can take an Auto-rickshaw to Airport Junction (2.8 km away) where buses are available to Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad etc.
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. The airport is also serviced by Uber and Ola Cabs, online cab aggregators providing various options to Calicut city and for Outstation journeys.
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 firearm discharging, 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 takeoff, resulting in a left tyre burst. The takeoff was aborted and flight cancelled.
- On 4 August 2017, a SpiceJet Bombardier Dash 8 skidded on landing and damaged the ILS beacons.
- Kannur International Airport
- Cochin International Airport
- Trivandrum International Airport
- Aranmula International Airport
- Sabarigiri International Airport
- List of Airports in Kerala
- List of airports in India
- List of the busiest airports in India
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Media related to Calicut International Airport at Wikimedia Commons