Kannur International Airport

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Kannur International Airport
കണ്ണൂർ അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര വിമാനത്താവളം
Kannur Airport
File:Kannur International Airport New Logo.jpg
Airport type Public limited
Owner Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL)
Operator Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL)
Serves Kannur, Thalassery,Payyanur, Kasaragod
Location Mattanur, Kerala, India
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Website www.kannurairport.in
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 4,000 13,123 Asphalt

Kannur International Airport (IATA: -, ICAO: VOKN) (Malayalam: കണ്ണൂർ അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര വിമാനത്താവളം) is an upcoming International Airport under construction at Mattanur in Kannur District, 25 kilometers from the cities Kannur and Thalassery, 60 kilometers from Payyanur in the state of Kerala, India. It is being built on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL).

Once completed it will be the fourth[1] and largest international airport in Kerala after Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut making it the only state in India to have four international airports. Kannur International Airport will be the second greenfield airport to be set up in Kerala after Cochin. The project is spread over 2,000 acres (810 ha). When the commercial operations of Kannur International Airport begins, it will reduce the passenger traffic at the Calicut international airport by 55%.

Although the Government wants to open the airport by September 2016, L&T said this will only be possible by early 2017.[2] As per the India Airports Vision 2020, the commercial operations of Kannur International Airport is expected to start on 31 August 2017.

The airport will provide an international gateway in the northern Malabar region with state-of-the art facilities to support safe, efficient and cost effective travel for foreign tourists and ‘non-resident’ Indians from Kerala, as well as domestic passenger. The new airport would be turned into a major aviation transit point. Expected aircraft movements over the next decade is 39,638 p.a. with peak aircraft movement at 18 per hour. The airport is also expected to act as a cargo hub for the northern-Malabar region.


Airport History

The proposal of the Greenfield Airport at Kannur was initiated in 1997. The Government of Kerala appointed Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) as a Nodal agency in January 1998 for implementation of the project. The latter was appointed to undertake feasibility studies which were submitted to the Government of India in 2005. The proposal for the development of the ‘Kannur International Airport’ received ‘in principle’ approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in February 2008. "Kannur International Airport Limited" (KIAL) was founded in December 2009. The foundation stone for the Airport was laid on 17 December 2010.

Past Airline Service in Kannur - 1934

While the long awaited airport is now under construction, this will not be Kannur's first brush with airline operations. Tata Airlines made its maiden flight to Kerala using a DH83 Fox Moth aircraft under the patronage of Maharaja Chithira Thirunal, The last king of Travancore. The service to Kerala started on 29 October 1935 as per the website of Tata. The weekly service between Bombay and Trivandrum had stops at Goa and Cannanore (Kannur). It was not a commercial stop in Kannur but a refueling pit-stop. At the time of the British reign, Kannur Cantonment had an airstrip as the military headquarters here used to have several airmail from Bombay.[3]

Airport project

The airport will be built on 2,000 acres (810 ha) acres 25 km from Kannur. The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) submitted the detail project report in May 2012 and subsequently Aecom Asia[4] modified the Master Plan in August 2013. On November 2013 L&T was chosen to construct the runway, passenger terminal buildings and ATC building.[5] The construction work commenced in November 2013.

Passenger Terminal Building

The total area of Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of Kannur International Airport is 900,000 sq.ft. Peak house capacity will be around 2000 (Domestic and International) with a capacity of 5 million passengers per annum over the next decade. There will 24 Check-in counters, 32 Immigration/Emigration counters, 16 custom counters in the PTB. Passenger amenities include Duty-free shops, Food courts and retail facilities. Green building concept has been adopted in design of the building. Future plans include 2500 peak hour capacity. The terminal will use energy efficient LED lighting.

Passenger Boarding Bridges

There will be 3 passenger boarding bridges (PBB) one designed for the Airbus A380 when operations start with provision for 3 additional PBB in phase II based on demand. The airport will be fully capable to handle the Airbus A380 from day 1 of commercial operations.

Aerodrome Reference

Aerodrome reference for the airport is Code 4E. Critical aircraft are Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787, Boeing 747, Airbus A350, Airbus A330.


The runway length of Kannur International Airport will be 4000 m (13,123 ft). At the start of commercial operations expected towards the end of Q3-2017, the runway length is 3050 m (10,010 ft) in Phase I, gradually extended in Phase II & III. The orientation of the runway is 07/25 which permits obstacle free approach. Runway width is 45 m. RESA 90 m x 240 m. Construction of the 3050 m runway started in Q4 2013 and was successfully completed on 29 April 2016.[6] It took only 60 days to complete the runway to 3050 m from the 2400 m completed prior to the trial landing operation which was conducted on 29th, February, 2016.

Future Runway Extension Plan & Second Runway

The runway will be extended to 3400 m (11,154 ft) in Phase II after acquiring 100 acres of land and further extended up to 4000 m (13,123 ft) runway in Phase III to enhance safety.[7] The runway extension to 4000 m [8] was announced during the Kerala Budget on 12 February 2016 which came as a surprise due to problems of land acquisition when the 3400 m extension was proposed.[9] Once the extension to 4000 m is completed, Kannur will be the fourth Airport in India to have a runway length of 4000 m after Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The parallel taxi way will be extended to full length of the runway in Phase II including 2 rapid exits.

Additional land is being acquired for a second runway planned in the third phase in Valiyaparamba which is 1 km north from the Kannur-Mattanur road. The airport in Moorkhanparamba and Valiyaparamba will be connected using a flyover which is being considered an engineering challenge. It is a long term plan and the second runway construction is not expected until the year 2040 and will be based on demand. Land acquisition is being done now to prevent hurdles in the future.

Trial landing operation

The official date for trial landing was planned on 31 December 2015 but was delayed due to incessant non-seasonal rains that delayed runway work. In February, 2016, The airport had obtained mandatory DGCA clearance [10] for test flight and on 16 February 2016 on the 2400 m runway which was completed at the time. The Government announced that it will conduct test flight from the airport on 29 February 2016 with an aircraft belonging to the Defence Ministry.

On 29 February 2016 at 0906 hrs, The trial landing operation was successfully completed at Kannur International Airport by a Dornier 228 aircraft from the Indian Airforce registration number - VUBFN with Air Marshal R. Nambiar, a native of Kannur and co-pilot Wing Commander Vipin Neni from Pune at the controls.[11] The then Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Ministers K. Babu, K.C. Joseph, and K.P. Mohanan received the pilots after the landing. Thousands of people had thronged the project site to witness the event and was greeted by applause by the huge cheering crowd. After a brief halt at the airfield the aircraft departed back to its home base Air Force Station Yelhanka at 1114 hrs. Mr. Chandy said when completed the new airport will boost development.[12]


As per the status report as of April 2016 in the official website of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL), the lCAO code has been registered as VOKN.

Cargo Terminal

The airport will act as a cargo hub for the Northern-Malabar region which has long been neglected. The cargo capacity over the next decade is expected to be 60,758 tons per year.

Other Facilities in the Airport


The Apron at the airport will have 20 parking bays - Code C, 817 m x 153 m. Future plans include additional 12 bays of apron expansion.

Navigation Aid Facilities

Navigation aid facilities include DVOR/DME, ILS Cat. I, ADS-B.

Electrical & Lighting Systems

  • Runway edge lighting
  • Runway Center-line lights
  • Taxi edge lighting
  • PAPI for both runway approaches.
  • Cat. I Approach light for Runway 25 and simple approach light for Runway 07.
  • Guard Lights
  • Stop Bar Lights

Fuel Farm Business

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will run the fuel farm business at Kannur International Airport in a joint venture with KIAL. The work for fuel farm is progressing at the site.

Recent Development

  • On 29, April 2016, the 3050 m runway part of Phase I was confirmed to be completed.[6]
  • Fire & Electric works inside the PTB are progressing well as of May 1, 2016.
  • All efforts are in place to complete the roofing workings of Kannur International Airport before the onset of the monsoon which is expected to begin on 7th, June 2016.
  • Installation of high mast light at the apron had started by 7 May 2016.
  • As of 15th, May 2016, tiling work, installation of AC ducts, construction of the baggage handling system inside the PTB while HT Power cables laying to the PTB and ATC are in progress as well.
  • As of 22nd, May 2016, about 76% of the passenger terminal building was completed. Other structures nearing completion include the control tower which is 78% completed, fire stations on the east and west side are also nearing completion.[6]
  • As of 27th May, 2016, installation of high mast light at the apron was completed.

Expected Start of Commercial Operations

Although the Government wants to open the airport by September 2016, L&T said this will only be possible by early 2017.[2] As per the India Airports Vision 2020, the commercial operations of Kannur International Airport is expected to start on 31 August 2017.

On 28th May, 2016, at a press event in the Kannur Press Club with the new Minister of Sports and Industry of Kerala, Mr. E.P. Jayrajan said that work on the airport would expedited to start commercial operations at the earliest. The new airport with a 4,000-metre runway would be turned into a major aviation transit point, he said.[13]

Infrastructure and connectivity


Kannur Airport is located at a distance of 25 km from Kannur Town. The airport location is 19 kilometers away from National Highway 17 (NH-17) and 4 kilometers away from Tellicherry-Mysore Highway (SH-30).

More than 8 roads are to be developed for connecting to the Airport which includes Kannur (Melechovva)-Mattannur road, Thalassery-Mattannur road, ThalasseryAnjarakandy–Airport road, ThalasseryNadapuram Road, Karnataka Border -IrittyMattannur Road, Wayanad (Mananthavadi) – NedumpoilMattannur road, Payyanur/EzhimalaMattannur road, ThalasseryMahe Bypass road, Dharmasala,Kannur - Mattannur road etc.[14]

ThalasseryMattannur road will be upgraded to 4/6 lanes, considering the availability of required land for widening. Other related roads will be widened and upgraded with high quality surfacing and constructing new bridges and culverts. Approximately, Rs.3 billion are expected as the cost for the development of access roads to the Airport.

In August, 2015, a report released mentioned the lack of any progress for the above proposed road works even 6 years after they were planned.[1]

As of 30th May, 2016, development of the road project to Kannur International Airport is yet to gain momentum.


The main Railway line from Kanyakumari to Mumbai is nearest to Airport and it is situated in between Thalasserry and Kannur railway station. Rail linking Thalassery with Mysore will facilitate multi-modal access to the airport. The state government is pursuing discussions with the Central Ministry of Railways on a proposal for 'Kannur International Airport Railway Station' which was approved in the railway budget of 2016.[15] Survey is on for the land required for this project.


Total cost of the project is expected to be 31.99 billion (US$480 million), including peripheral structures such as staff housing, a convention centre and a shopping centre. The project will be implemented on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) basis and on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) model. The Kannur International Airport will be set up by a Government led consortium. 35% of equity will be with the Government of Kerala, 23% with Public Sector Undertakings, 26% with Airport PSU's and remaining 16% with private individuals and institutions. The Phase 1 project cost would be approximately 1892 crores including the cost of land. The development of the infrastructure project will be through global tenders in engineering, procurement and constructions (EPC) Model.

Airlines and destinations

One of the world's biggest international carrier Emirates,[16] based in UAE will be operating international flights to Kannur.

An Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

The Dubai based airline has sought permission to start services between Dubai and Kannur with 5000 seats per week using a Boeing 777-300ER. The UAE Civil Aviation Authority Director General Mohammed A. Ahli even wrote to Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Chaubey stating the interest of the airlines in launching its services to the airport as soon as it becomes operational. Moreover, Emirates is not the only airlines to approach the Kannur international airport authorities, many other foreign airlines including Bahrain's Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, FlyDubai, Saudia, Etihad Airways, Maldivian Airlines have sought permission to operate flights to the international airport.

Indian carriers such as Air India Express and SpiceJet[17] have reported interest to operate. Other Indian carriers expected to operate from Kannur would be Air India, Jet Airways, Vistara and Indigo Airlines.

Expected International destinations are Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Doha, Manama, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Kuwait, Male, Singapore and Kuala Lampur. Expected domestic destinations include Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Calicut, Cochin and Trivandrum.

Solar Power System

Taking cue from the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), Kannur International Airport is looking sun-ward to meet its energy needs.

The initiative will begin in a small way with a one-megawatt (MW) project near the airport terminal.[18]

KIAL has already invited EoI for the 1-MW project, which will meet some of its internal power needs.

This first step in the solar way is expected to cost the airport Rs 4 to Rs 5 crore.


According to a detailed project report prepared by CIAL in 2015, 610,000 domestic passengers, and 1.32 million international passengers are expected to use the airport.

The number of passenger estimated to use the airport in 2021 is 2.94 million. Number of international passengers are expected to be 2.03 million and domestic passengers will be 0.91 million.

The following are the features of the logo of Kannur International Airport.

Inspired by Theyam

Kannur is famous for Theyyam which is a popular ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, India and the logo is "Eye of Theyam".

At the center of the eye you can see an aircraft about to take off.

See also


  1. "Kerala set to get a fourth international airport in Kannur". http://www.hindustantimes.com/. 2015-12-29. Retrieved 2016-05-23. External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Profile on Kannur Airport". CAPA. Retrieved 25 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Kannur flew, way before its first airport - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-05-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Kannur International Airport Master Plan - AECOM". Kannur International Airport Master Plan - AECOM.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  7. "Profile on Kannur International Airport | CAPA - Centre for Aviation". centreforaviation.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Kannur airport to have the longest runway in Kerala". huntnews.in. Retrieved 2016-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Kannur airport facing land acquisition hurdle - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  11. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  12. "1st Trial Flight Lands In North Kerala, Oommen Chandy Says 'It Will Boost Development'". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2016-05-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  14. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  15. "New line to link Kannur airport". http://www.deccanchronicle.com/. Retrieved 2016-04-06. External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Emirates looks to flying into Kannur". http://www.deccanchronicle.com/. Retrieved 2016-04-06. External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Administrator, System. "SpiceJet plans flights from Dubai to Hyderabad, Jaipur and Kannur". Emirates 24|7. Retrieved 2016-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "KIAL Looks Sunward for Power Needs". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2016-05-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links