Kerala has become the only Indian state to have four international airports with the launch of the Kannur International Airport yesterday. By Priyanka Chakrabarti 

The Kannur International Airport was finally inaugurated yesterday by Union Minister Suresh Prabhu and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. This makes Kerala the only state to house four international airports (the three other international airports in Kerala are in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode). Well done, guys! The debut flight from the Kannur airport, an Air India Express flight with 180 passengers on board to Abu Dhabi, was flagged off by the chief guests.  

The Kannur Airport is a mighty affair:

Now, did you know, the Kannur airport, built on a public-private-partnership model, is spread across 2,000 acres and costs approximately Rs. 1,800 crores? Moreover, the Kannur airport can supposedly cater to nearly 2,000 passengers at any given point of time and will handle more than 1.5 million international passengers, annually. Also, the runway is around 3,050 meters and will be further extended to 4,000 meters. The international flights that will be operating from Kannur will include those of UAE, Oman and Qatar. Additionally, the airport will be linked to Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai.  

This airport will primarily procure services to the people of Kannur and Kasaragod districts of Kerala and Kodagu region in Karnataka. For now, Air India and GoAir have released their flight schedules for the brand-new airport, with more domestic airlines likely to kick-start operations shortly.  

Kudos to the Indian aviation industry:

“So, this is a great day for Kerala and the aviation industry. Kerala has a high potential for growth by creating a world-class infrastructure. This greenfield airport built using futuristic technology is a symbol of how the future of aviation industry in India should be,” said Prabhu, while addressing the media at the inauguration function. Besides, the Union Minister also stated that with the boost of commercial operations at the Kannur International airport, the next big thing will be a boost in the state’s export of spices and marine products.  

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En Route Malabar:

We bet, all you travellers are breathing a sigh of relief. Finally, this hidden hamlet in the heart of Malabar makes its mark on the global aviation atlas. The Kannur airport will not only aid the growth of budget air travel but will also provide fantastic connectivity for residents, homebound migrants and tourists— revolutionising their experience of travelling to the northern crown of Kerala.

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