Saturday, December 23, 2017

Mangaluru International Airport runway 120m shorter from December 31

Mangaluru: The year-end hasn't brought good tidings for airlines operating from Mangaluru International Airport. From December 31, the runway length has been reduced by 120 metres. Airport authorities have alerted pilots about the shortened runway due to insufficient Runway End Safety Areas (RESA) at both ends.
It means that of the 2,450m of runway available, only 2,330m will be available for safety purposes. It will not affect passengers per se, but there will be a load penalty on airlines, especially international airlines carrying cargo, which will have to be reduced.
A source aware of this development told TOI it's not a good development for cargo operations as airlines will have to reduce at least 2,000 tonnes of cargo to meet the new safety requirement.
The change is as per directions of the Director-General of Civil Aviation to improve RESA. Though DGCA has granted approval for extending by 60m on both ends of the runway, work has been held up as MIA is not getting the required land.
The cargo load from MIA had increased after the Qatar crisis, which pushed up the demand for veggies from the coast and elsewhere in Karnataka. Qatar, facing a major diplomatic crisis, has been forced to airlift vegetables from MIA. According to data available with TOI, since June MIA has been airlifting about 50 tonnes of daily essentials every month, which contain 30 types of vegetables and five types of fruits.
Apart from Qatar, essentials are supplied to Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Every month, on an average, 220 tonnes of such essentials are flown to these Gulf Cooperation Council countries and it's increasing every year.
MIA director V V Rao confirmed that the notice has been issued and it's a temporary issue.
23/12/17 Stanley Pinto/Times of India