Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Entice int’l airlines to city airport: Bizmen

Coimbatore: Two days after an Air India Express aircraft crashed at the tabletop runway in Kozhikode, Coimbatore’s industrialists and residents wonder at why the city airport’s runway which is longer and has more run off area than Kozhikode’s airport is not receiving more international airlines.
They say this is the perfect time to invite more airlines to our airport, because the director general of civil aviation plans to halt landing of wide-bodied flights in Kozhikode as a temporary measure.
Data from flight radar 24 app, shows that the Kozhikode airport’s runway length is 2,860m with 50m of run-off area after which the gradient starts. Comparatively, Coimbatore’s runway length is 2,970m with 100m of run-off area provided in case flights shoot off the runway. “So, we have a longer runway with more safety features like a larger run-off area,” says an airport enthusiast and businessman, J Sathish. “The only thing that we lack is 150m of space on both sides of the runway’s central line, for which we need to acquire just 50 acres,” he adds.

Industrialists say the Coimbatore airport has already proved its mettle in handling so many repatriation flights belonging to foreign airlines right from Fly Dubai, Kenyan, Salam Air and Royal Brunei Airways among others. “Despite our having facilities they keep talking about requiring a wider and larger runway for wide bodied aircrafts, but do we need wide-bodied international aircrafts initially? Many foreign airlines may be willing to operate smaller aircrafts to and from Coimbatore to their hub,” said Sathish.
Airlines like Air Asia and Fly Dubai had earlier requested permission to operate flights to and from Coimbatore to Malaysia and Dubai but were refused. MP A Raja had also brought this up in Parliament last year, demanding to know why they were refused permission.
11/08/20 Times of India
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