KANNUR: The Kannur International Airport (KIAL) at Mattannur in the district will be commercially operational only by mid-2017, taking a few more months than the announced deadline of March next.
The construction work, however, would be completed by March-April 2017, KIAL managing director V Thulasidas said, adding that a few more months would be required for tests and trials, reports The Times of India.
An IAF Dornier aircraft from Bengaluru had conducted a successful test landing at the airport on February 29, in the presence of the then chief minister Oommen Chandy.
Once the airport becomes operational, Kerala would be the only state with four international airports.
Thulasidas said the airport, with a 3,050-metre runway, would focus more on the Gulf sector. The runway would cater to the present requirements and future expansions would be considered based on the business generated.
He was addressing a meeting on the business potential of the airport, organized by the North Malabar Chamber of Commerce.
“The main passenger traffic from Kerala is to the Gulf countries, for which wide-bodied aircraft, such as Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330, and even smaller aircraft are used. A runway length of 3,050 is sufficient for such aircraft,” he said, adding that an aircraft with 300 passengers and cargo loaded to its capacity could land here.