Kannur (Kerala) Feb 29 (IANS) The first trial operations at Kerala’s fourth international airport Kannur on Monday were successful when an IAF aircraft landed at the airport that will open for commercial operations in September.
The Rs.1,892 crore airport is billed as one which will be the fastest completed airport in the country. Monday’s operations were conducted two years after commencement of the construction work.
The 10-seater IAF Dornier aircraft flew in from Bengaluru. It was piloted by Air Marshal R. Nambiar, who along with his team and other officials, was received at the tarmac by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his senior cabinet colleagues.
Earlier, Chandy and his team arrived on a helicopter.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had given clearance for Monday’s inaugural trial-run and the Chandy government, which had promised to the state that they would see this airport completed as per the time-table, made it a reality.
Kannur airport is located at Mattanur in Kannur district and, when ready, this would be the biggest airport in Kerala, beating the ones at Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram.
To start with, the airport will have a 3,400-metre runway that will be extended to 4,000 metres in the second phase.
The Chandy government had emphasised they would ensure completion of the flagship projects of his government — Vizhinjam Port, where the work has already been launched; Kochi Metro, where the trial-run has already been conducted; and the first phase of the Kochi Smart City project which has already been opened.
The Left opposition supporters were protesting outside the venue, saying it was just a show only as the work is not over and this function was meant with an eye to the upcoming assembly polls.