Monday, February 22, 2021

Kannur Airport to become cargo gateway for North Malabar, South Karnataka


cargo ap

Kannur International Airport (KIAL) in Kerala recently opened its 1,200 sq mt cargo complex with an annual capacity of 12,000 metric tonnes and will soon have the 6,000 sq mt international cargo terminal ready. It is now aiming to become the air cargo hub for the region by exporting goods to the Gulf region and even to the United States by beating other airports with its advantages.

Being the fourth international airport of Kerala, it has Calicut International Airport just 120 kms south of it and Mangalore International Airport 170 kms north of it. However, the ability of KIAL to handle much bigger aircraft due to its runway length and connectivity to industries, businesses and plantations in the North Malabar and South Karnataka makes it an ideal candidate to become the cargo gateway of the region to the world.

The runway of KIAL is 3,050 metre and is significantly longer than the other two airports. This means the airport can handle much bigger Code-E aircraft like B777, B747 andA330. The airport also plans to increase the runway length to 4000 metres, thus becoming one of the biggest in India. Even though all three are tabletop airports, the runway length gives an edge to Kannur Airport.

Cargo Service Center has been appointed as the agency to operate and manage the terminal. Tushar Jani, chairman of CSC Group noted it as the ‘most promising new airport’. “From the enquires, we could see that both our customers and international airlines are just waiting for the cargo operations to start and permissions to come in,” he added

With 32.8 percent share in the airport, the government of Kerala along with its NRI community is spearheading the development.

“The density of the NRI population around Kannur airport is highest among all airports in Kerala which is a great opportunity. Also, it is one of the technically advanced Airport with better connectivity in the region and has many advantages above all other airports in the region,” said Jani.

Once fully functional, Kannur International Airport is expected to become the cargo hub of the region. It will also serve the export opportunities arising from the proximity to South Karnataka. Kodagu, located just 82 km away from the airport, has a large number of coffee and tea plantations, frequently exported produces.

22/02/21 Libin Chacko Kurian/ITLN

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