RCS flights to give a good start to Kannur airport

Kochi: Kannur airport being built by Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) scheme is to make a smooth take-off expectedly in June on the wings of UDAN flights.

Union Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said that under the second phase of the Regional Connectivity (UDAN) Scheme, Kannur is connected to eight cities, namely Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, Hindon and Hubballi at highly subsidized fares ranging from Rs1800 to 3200.

Choubey said Indigo would fly in Kannur-Bengaluru, Kannur-Chennai and Kannur-Thiruvananthapuram sectors. SpiceJet would also fly in Bengaluru and Chennai sectors, he added. He, however, did not give names of the other airlines which had been granted permission to operate from the airport under the scheme.

The 78-seater turboprop aircraft will be deployed to operate Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) services from Kannur and 37 seats in each flight will be set apart for RCS passengers.

KIAL officials said that the flights would commence operation on the day when the greenfield airport was commissioned,

The loss suffered by the airlines due to RCS passengers is made good by the Aviation Ministry with a Viability Gap Funding (VGF). Under the VGF, the airline can claim up to Rs2500 per hour for a seat. The ministry expects that in the current calendar year, it requires Rs500 crore to pay the bill. This will be raised from a regional cess of Rs5000 per non-regional flight and the dividend paid by Airports Authority of India (AAI) to it.

Meanwhile, the Rs2292-crore Kannur airport is expected to be commissioned before the schedule in June. KIAL claims it can complete the remaining works in four months and get all licences by May 31.

A calibration Dornier aircraft of Airports Authority of India will do calibration of Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR), a ground-based radio navigational device that provides information to aircraft to define air traffic control routes for the en route, terminal, and instrument approach/departure procedure.

This will be followed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security’s inspection for security clearance.

KIAL managing director P Bala Kiran said interior decoration works were underway at the 10.33 lakh sq ft integrated passenger terminal building and commercial operations were planned in June.

According to him, the 21,000 sq ft Air Traffic Control (ATC) and a 750-m flyover had been completed. The installation of the Common User Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) at the 48-check-in counters was on. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) was providing the hardware for the immigration services and the airlines would be provided offices and commercial space at the terminal next month.

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