NEW DELHI: In a fallout of last Friday’s deadly Air India Express crash-landing at Calicut, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has temporarily barred wide body aircraft operations from this table-top airport. The restriction on twin aisle aircraft from flying in and out of Calicut will be for monsoon, said an official.
The DGCA has also started an audit of 10 to 12 airports in heavy rain areas where physical examination will be conducted of several factors like runway friction, slope, operational area lighting and overall communication and navigation (CNS) systems. “Teams are being formed for this audit that is likely to be completed in a fortnight. This audit will cover airports in places like the metros, heavy monsoon areas, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram,” said DGCA chief Arun Kumar.
The DGCA audit will, however, not cover Calicut Airport as that is being examined as part of the Air India Express crash-landing probe by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB).
Kerala has been a vital “catchment area” for airlines given the huge pre-pandemic demand for travel between the two regions. Several Gulf carriers, and Air India, from time to time deploy wide body aircraft on Calicut-Gulf route in high demand seasons.
Twin aisle aircraft were stopped from flying in and out of Calicut in 2015 in wake of the court of inquiry report on the Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in Mangaluru in May 2010. AAI had taken steps to increase the runway end safety area as directed by regulatory authorities to be allowed to handle widely aircraft at Calicut. Wide body aircraft were allowed to resume flying here in late 2018.
In Video:Wide body aircraft barred from Calicut for this monsoon

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