Kannur (Kerala), Sep 20 : The first trial flight operations began at the Kannur airport on Thursday which is slated to soon become Kerala's fourth international airport.
An Air India Express 737-800 flew in from the state capital and successfully completed its trial operations at the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL).
Speaking to IANS, V.
Thulasidas, Managing Director of the KIAL, said this was the first trial as per the guidelines of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
"As far as we are concerned, we are ready with all the mandatory tests.
Once today's tests are done, tomorrow (Friday) we are getting another aircraft. Once the DGCA gives the license, then it's the role of the Airport Authority of India (AAI). We expect the tests to be completed by the end of this month," said Thulasidas, who is also the former chairman and managing director of Air India.
But he did not specify when the commercial operations would begin.
"Even though the trial flights have begun, during the time when floods ravaged several districts of the state in August, Naval aircraft engaged in rescue and relief operations had used this airport," added Thulasidas.
The Rs 1,892 crore airport is located at Mattanur and is spread over 2,000 acres of land.
With this, Kerala will be the only state in the country to have four international airports with the others at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The first trial operation at the airport took place in February 2016 when an Indian Air Force aircraft landed and was received by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The airport will have parking bays for 14 Code E aircraft or 20 Code C aircraft and will be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time.
The KIAL is slated to serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually.
This airport will start off with a runway of 3,050 metres and in another 18 months after it opens, it will see its runway length increase to 3,400 metres and eventually it will touch 4,000 metres.