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Kannur International Airport

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Kannur International Airport (IATA: CNN, ICAO: VOKN) is an under construction, international airport designed to serve the city of Kannur in the state of Kerala, India. It is being built at Mattannur, 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the city in a public private partnership (PPP) model under Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). The airport received the IATA code of CNN in July 2017 which is an abbreviation for Cannanore, the anglicised name for Kannur.[1]

Kannur International Airport
Kannur International Airport logo.png
Kannur international airport.jpg
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL)
Serves Kannur
Location Mattanur, Kerala, India
Coordinates 11°55′N 75°33′E / 11.92°N 75.55°E / 11.92; 75.55Coordinates: 11°55′N 75°33′E / 11.92°N 75.55°E / 11.92; 75.55
Website www.kannurairport.in
Map
CNN is located in Kerala
CNN
CNN
CNN is located in India
CNN
CNN
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 3,050 10,007 Asphalt

Contents

HistoryEdit

Kannur had an airstrip used for commercial aviation as early as 1935 when TATA airlines operated weekly flights between Bombay and Trivandrum — stopping at Goa and Cannanore.[2] But the long-standing demand for an airport was only conceptualized in 1997, when C. M. Ibrahim, the then union minister for civil aviation initiated an airport project for the district. With his help, the E.K. Nayanar-led state government pursued the project, starting with the proposal of a greenfield airport at Kannur. The Government of Kerala appointed Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) as a nodal agency for the implementation of the project in January 1998. The earlier site proposed at Madayipara was dropped owing to ecological concerns. Two vast plateaus near Mattannur were identified for the airport, namely Moorkhanparamb and Velliyamparamb, with about 1300 acres and 800 acres of land to be acquired from each respectively.[3][4][5][6]

After a prolonged wait, the airport received in-principle approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Union cabinet in January 2008.[7] Land acquisition began in December 2008 after issuing notifications and fixing compensation.[8] The public company Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL), under the PPP model, was registered in October 2009.[9] The foundation stone for the airport was laid on 17 December 2010 by then-Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan.[10]

ConstructionEdit

By August 2010 acquisition of about 1200 acres of land was completed in two phases, and acquisition of another 780 acres was in progress for the third phase.[11][12]

In July 2011, the Oommen Chandy government decided to make Airports Authority of India a consultant tasked with preparing a revised techno-economic feasibility report and a new master plan and design.[13] As the Airports Authority of India failed to submit the report in time, the consultancy was canceled and Cochin International Airport (CIAL) was entrusted to prepare the detailed project report, but the floating of tenders for construction was further delayed as experts found several technical flaws in the design prepared by CIAL.[14][15]

Land acquired by the government under KINFRA was transferred to KIAL earlier in February 2012.[16] In August 2012, Mumbai based company STUP Consultants Pvt Ltd. was made consultant to review the revised report by CIAL and to assist KIAL in other aspects of the project, but the agreement was canceled within two weeks as it was found that the company had been blacklisted in other states.[17][18] Fresh bids were solicited and Hong Kong-based AECOM Asia was awarded the consultancy.[19][20] The project office was inaugurated at Mattannur in December 2012.[21]

EPC-I & EPC-IIEdit

It was decided to build the airport in two stages of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC). The first stage, EPC-I included complete earthwork, runway, taxiway, apron, ground lighting and associated infrastructure such as perimeter and operational walls.

The second stage, EPC-II, involved the integrated terminal building, air traffic control tower, administrative and technical blocks, and facilities in the buildings such as aerobridges, escalators, elevators and counters.[22] Infrastructure and engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) was awarded work for EPC-I on November 27, 2013, after inviting bids.[23] Airport work was flagged off by the then Defense Minister A.K. Antony at a public function in Mattannur on February 2, 2014.[24] L&T also won the tender for EPC-II works including the construction of the passenger terminal building (PTB) on June 25, 2014.[25]

 
Earth work at the airport site in 2014

A huge amount of earthwork was carried out at the site including the cutting and filling of a total 2,340,000 cubic metres (3,060,000 cu yd) of land at a maximum rate of 70,000 cubic metres (92,000 cu yd) per day.[26] About 50% of the land works and foundation and piling work for constructing the PTB and air traffic control tower were completed by March 2015.[27] By August 2015 about 60% of the runway was completed. Steps were initiated to procure lifts, a baggage handling system, passenger boarding bridges, and the four Airfield Crash Fire Tenders.[28] About 70% of the work on the runway, apron and associated work, and 52% of the PTB and allied work was completed by December 2015.[29] Works for a 28,000 square metres (33,000 sq yd) fuel farm also began the same month.[30] The then Kerala Airports Minister K. Babu ruled out the popular demand to extend the runway to 4,000 metres (4,400 yd).[31] Meanwhile the third phase of land acquisition involving about 785 acres on Velliyamparmb, which began in 2011, had been progressing at a very slow pace and only 612 acres were acquired in five years.[32] The late decision to acquire more land for a runway extension from 3,050 metres (3,340 yd) to 3,400 metres (3,700 yd) on the western side, in the finishing stages of the project, triggered protests from residents.[33]

A trial landing was conducted on a completed 2,400 metres (2,600 yd) runway by a 14-seater code B aircraft on February 29, 2016. The air traffic control tower was not involved as it was still under construction. Technical assistance of the Aviation Control of the Calicut airport was sought for the landing. No runway calibration, or testing of flight parameters, was done during the landing. The trial landing was organized as a major event by the authorities and involved extensive public participation. The Oommen Chandy government faced fierce criticism for organizing such an event when the whole airport project was not complete. The opposition termed it an "election stunt" as Kerala was going to the polls in the coming months. Around 30 lakh (US$46,000) were spent on the event.[34][35][36][37][38]

By May 2016, the 3,050 metres (3,340 yd) runway was completed with work on the 150 metres (160 yd) grading side strip on both ends progressing. 68% of the PTB, 75% of the ATC tower and much of the work for the fuel farm was completed. Work on the ancillary buildings — fire rescue station, power house, the area for the India Meteorological Department (IMD), sewage treatment plant, service block, and the airfield ground lighting substation were progressing.[39] The newly-elected Pinaryi government decided to begin land acquisition to extend the runway to 4,000 metres (4,400 yd) in August 2016.[40] 82% of the construction of the PTB, and 90% of the work on air side was completed by February 2017. By September 90% of the work on the PTB and the city side works including flyover, PTB roofing etc... was completed. Time-consuming interior work on the PTB was in progress, runway end safety area works were to resume after the rains. The PTB is scheduled to be fully completed by January 2018.

Phase I & Phase IIEdit

The Phase I expansion period is from 2016-17 to 2025-26. It includes a 3,400 metres (3,700 yd) runway extension (possibly to 4,000 metres (4,400 yd) based on traffic), a full-length taxiway, commissioning of a fuel farm, an aviation academy etc..., and developing city side facilities. Works for the Phase-I expansion are already progressing.A cargo terminal and cargo complex which was initially in Phase-II has been shifted to Phase I and is under construction. The Phase II expansion will happen from 2026-27 to 2045-46. It includes another runway and a dedicated domestic terminal at Veliamparamb, and a long flyover to link it with Moorkhanparamb.[32][41][42][43][44]

ManagementEdit

Kannur international airport is the second greenfield airport to be built on a public private partnership (PPP) platform in Kerala. The airport is managed by Kannur International Airport Ltd.(KIAL), a public company.[45] Former Kannur District Collector P Balakiran of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the current Managing Director of KIAL.[46] Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister of Kerala, holds the post of chairman. The principle investor in KIAL, the Government of Kerala, owns 35% of the company's shares. Other shareholders are: Public Sector Undertakings (25%), airport Public Service Unions (PSUs) (10%) and private individuals and institutions (30%).[47]

TerminalsEdit

The airport will have an integrated passenger terminal for both international and domestic travellers with a floor area of 96,000 m2 (1,030,000 sq ft). It will be able to handle up to 2,000 passengers during peak hours with its unique swing facility. It will have six aerobridges connecting to airside, with 48 check-in counters, 32 emigration counters, 16 customs counters, four conveyor belts and access control inside the terminal.[48][25][49][41]

A cargo terminal complex having a floor space of 32,000 m2 (340,000 sq ft) will also be constructed.[50][51]

FacilitiesEdit

Operational infrastructureEdit

Kannur Airport has one runway, 07/25, that is 3,050 by 45 metres (10,007 by 148 feet).[52] The 07/25 runway orientation permits an obstacle-free approach. The 25 end will have Category I approach lighting and the 07 end will have simple approach lighting. The runway will be extended to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) after the airport is commissioned. Land acquisition of about 260 acres is underway for this purpose. The runway will have a full length parallel taxiway, and its apron will allow 20 wide-bodied aircraft to park at the same time.[53][42][54][55][41]

The airport's air navigation services and air traffic control will be handled by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The ATC tower will be equipped with Doppler variable omnirange and distance measuring equipment, air traffic system automation, instrument landing system, voice recorder, GPS clock system etc... It will have VHF communication facilities and equipment for obtaining radar signals from the Cochin International Airport. The tower is 30 metres (98 ft) high and has a floor area of 1,923 square metres (20,700 sq ft).[56][27][57]

Various weather monitoring, weather forecasting and alert systems are being installed at the airport by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) for weather observations, is supplemented by climatological data, weather forecasting and aerodrome warning from IMD. The IMD will send minute-by-minute weather updates in the form of audio messages directly to pilots, instead of passing the information manually to the ATC and through them to the pilot. The information could include wind speed, gusts and direction, temperature and dew point, visibility, density, altitude, thunderstorm, lightning etc. ensuring smooth aircraft operation.[58]

Owing to the table top structure of the terrain, the airport will have a 300 metres (330 yd) long, 90 metres (98 yd) wide runway end safety area (RESA) on both ends of the runway, making the effective length of the runway including the RESA 3,650 metres (3,990 yd). This reduces the risk of casualties and damage to aircraft in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or excursion from the runway. The RESA is protected with a reinforced earth wall. The airport will have an isolation bay towards the 07 side. An isolation bay, with a diameter of 125 metres (137 yd), is a special parking space created for an aircraft facing an exigency like hijack or bomb threat.[59][60][61][41]

Various ground support equipment (GSE) will be available to service the aircraft between flights. This includes: dollies, chocks, aircraft service stairs, aircraft refuelers, transporters, catering vehicles, belt loaders etc... Ground handling in the airport will be managed by Air India Air Transport Services Ltd. (AI-ATSL)

Aviation fuel farmEdit

The airport has a 28,000 square metres (33,000 sq yd) fuel farm constructed and operated as a joint venture company floated by KIAL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) — the BPCL-KIAL Fuel Farm Private Ltd. The Rs.17-crore fuel farm has underground tanks for aviation fuel storage and will provide fuel for aircraft operating from the airport. BPCL has a Rs.170-crore stake in KIAL.[62]

MROEdit

Kannur airport will have an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul unit- MRO facility. A large maintenance terminal is dedicated for this. The facility is expected to cater to both narrow and wide-bodied aircraft. The MRO will undertake maintenance work on aircraft and their components, such as jet engines, landing gear, airframes and components etc... and will involve line maintenance and hangars.[63][41]

EnclavesEdit

The airport will have an Indian Navy air enclave on convert 10 acres of land. The location is a priority for the Navy since the Ezhimala Naval Academy, the only naval academy in India, and the largest in Asia, is just 60 kilometres (37 mi) away from the airport. Ezhimala is also a strategic defense location. The original demands for transfer of the 10 acres of airport land to the Navy included having a representative from Southern Naval Command on KIAL's board of directors, to set up the enclave. This was dropped by the Navy. The land was transferred to the Navy on a long-term lease against token rent for establishing the enclave.[64][65][66]

The Indian Air Force will have a presence at the airport with a separate enclave set up on 10 acres of land. Defense officials had approved the enclave in view of the airport's strategic location. Kannur Cantonment, the only Army Cantonment in Kerala is 30 kilometres (19 mi) away from the airport. The land provided on a long-term lease, against a token rent, is located beside the operational apron of the airport. Work on the enclave's hangars and administrative buildings is underway.[65]

An enclave will be set up by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at the Kannur airport to augment air surveillance along the coast. India's first Coast Guard Academy is located at Azhikkal, 36 kilometres (22 mi) from the airport. Considering this, the strategic location, and the proximity to the coast of the airport the ICG had sought 20 acres of airport land. The KIAL board authorized the airport's managing director to provide 10 acres on a long-term lease against token rent to establish the enclave.[65][67][68]

Aviation academyEdit

An aviation academy will be set up in the airport by the Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy and Technology on two acres of land allotted for it. The institute will offer students courses in aeronautics and provide flight training.[69]

HAL helicopter manufacturing baseEdit

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had sought airport land from KIAL to have a manufacturing base for helicopters. 80 acres of land had been allotted by the board to HAL in 2014. The HAL complex will include helicopter manufacturing for exporting, helicopter maintenance and repair, and a helicopter pilot training centre.[63]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit