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Calicut airport runway to be extended: AAI

Sep 06, 2011 07:42 AM IST India India

New Delhi: The Airports Authority has finally swung into action to extend the runway safety area at the Calicut airport, days after CNN-IBN aired a report on its safety concerns.

Giving temporary relief to serious safety concerns at the Calicut airport, a notice has been issued to provide the minimum Runway End Saftey Area (RESA) of 90 metres.

According to the NOTAM (Notice to airmen) issued by the AAI on Sept 1, 2011: Pending completion of the work for filling and levelling of existing runway end safety area (RESA) for runway 28, the declared distances for runway 28 are temporarily revised to provide minimum RESA of 90m. Airlines and flight crew to note the above changes and strictly apply them for aircraft performance during flight operations at calicut. Flight crew exercise caution accordingly.

The Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council report accessed by CNN-IBN showed how a Mangalore-like accident may be waiting to happen at Calicut. The runway doesn't have the required safety area and an aircraft overshooting the runway will fall, possibly breaking up on impact. Add to that the Instrument Landing system - a concrete structure that can spell disaster if an aircraft overshoots.

"For the first time RESA is being established. Work has been awarded. By December we will have a full fledged RESA not only in Calicut airport but also in Mangalore. We are doing everything possible to ensure safety at these critical airports," said Bharat Bhushan, DGCA Chief.

The temporary Runway end safety area of 90 metres is a step forward in meeting the safety standards. But Airport sources tell CNN-IBN that it may well take over a month to implement this. With Calicut airport being recognised as a critical airport, there is simply no room for inordinate delays.