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Expedite Kozhikode airport development, Kerala CM urges Centre

Pinarayi Vijayan called upon Jyotiraditya Scindia to help speed up Kozhikode airport development; Fatal air crash in 2020 had halted expansion of airport

A year and a month have passed since the day when the Kozhikode airport, in north Kerala, witnessed one of the tragic mishaps in recent times. On the fateful day of August 7th 2020, an Air India Express flight, arriving from Dubai with 187 people on board, had overrun the runway and crashed while landing. As many as 21 passengers had lost their lives in the accident.

There had been no significant services from or to the Kozhikode airport after the fatal accident.

An investigation that was launched to ascertain the cause of the accident is now over and the final report has been submitted by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team (AAIT).

The report had put a major part of the blame on the pilot of the aircraft, noting that he did not comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP). Systematic failures were pointed out as contributory factors that should not be overlooked.

With the probe report submitted, the Kerala government now feels that efforts on developing the airport in Kozhikode need to be addressed.

Kozhikode airport development needs Central aid, says Kerala CM

In this context, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today called upon Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia to look into matters that will speed up the development of the airport.

At an online meeting on airport development, the Chief Minister said that Kerala wants to push its airports to global standards. And for this, assistance from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation is a must, he said.

Expedite Kozhikode airport development, Kerala CM urges Centre
A view of the Air India aircraft that crashed after it overran the runway at the Kozhikode airport last year

Pointing out that the Kozhikode airport has not seen any significant services ever since the Air India Express accident, the Chief Minister called for efforts to alter such a situation. Adding that the airport area should be increased, he said at least 152.5 acres of land would be required for the development.

Kerala criticizes Centre’s airport sector privatization policy

It may be noted that the state has already given administrative approval for the land acquisition process. District Collectors have been tasked with discussing and resolving local objections. Additional steps are currently on.

The Kerala Chief Minister also came out critical of the airport sector privatization policy lined up by the Union Government, asserting that it was a matter of concern to the people.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The New Indian Express, MSN India, PanAsiaBiz. Sanjeev can be reached at [email protected]
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