Kannur: The international airport will be inaugurated on December 9 as it received permission from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Kannur airport will become the fourth airport in Kerala after Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Steps have been taken to extend the length of the runway to 4000 meters from 3050 meters.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation gave final permission to Kannur airport on Thursday. The DGCA issued aerodrome license to Kannur airport following the success of experimental flying. The licence was issued after evaluating the runway, runway light, apron, DVOR, isolation bay, electrical and lighting system and fire station. All other evaluations had been completed earlier.

Kerala Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his tweets on Saturday had said that 11 international and six domestic carriers expressed their interest in operating from Kannur airport. These include Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Saudi Airlines, Silk Air, AirAsia, Malindo Air, Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir.

Built at the cost of Rs 2,292 crore and spread over 2,300 acres, the airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually and authorities estimate the number will increase five-fold by 2025.

Runway, airside facilities and terminal building have been completed. In the terminal building, door frame metal detector (DFMD), hand-held metal detector (HHMD), inline X-ray machine, baggage handling system, check-in counters, emigration checkpoints, lifts, escalators and passenger boarding bridge have been readied. The airport has received a LEED gold rating for energy and environment conservation and has a solar power system.

Also read: Kerala: Air India Express makes successful trial landing at Kannur airport