Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu commissioned the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). Now Kerala will be the only state in the country to have five international airports.
At 10am, Sunday first flight from the airport was flagged off by the chief guests. The first flight to take off from Kannur Airport was Air India Express flight with 180 passengers to Abu Dhabi. All passengers received a gift each from KIAL.
Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) is the fourth international airport in the state, the rest are in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
To witness a cultural program ahead of the take off of the Abu Dhabi flight hundreds of people, including politicians, were present. Two more flights were listed for the day.
Flights that would operate from Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) includes those to the UAE, Oman, Qatar, besides domestic ones to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai among others.
The KIAL is slated to serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually. The airport which is spread over 2,000 acres is located at Mattanur, 16 km from Kannur.
With this, Kerala will be the only state in the country to have four international airports. The other three are at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
It is expected to boost tourism in Kannur, Kasargode, Wayanad and increase trade and commerce in the hand loom and spices sectors.
The Kannur 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 airport will start off with a runway of 3,050 meters. The runway length will increase to 3,400 meters, eventually touching 4,000 meters.