Trivandrum Airport may lose its license, if state government doesn’t act!

The current aerodrome licence is expiring in March next and ICAO team are coming to inspect the airport next month.

It seems like the development of Trivandrum International Airport is stalled, all thanks to state government.

According to the reports, Trivandrum International Airport lacks all the mandatory basic strip as per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) norms. This will make it difficult to secure an aerodrome licence for the TIA. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been securing the mandatory licence for the airport over the last 10 years by managing “temporary exemption” for non-compliance of the ICAO norms.

The licence is mandatory to carry out flight operations to the airport.

The 3,373-metre runway lacks the 150-metre basic strip from the centre line on many stretches. The strip is mandatory for the license. Failure to construct the strip is due to the laxity on the part of the State government in acquiring the required land. And the elected representatives failed to take up the issue with the government. The AAI was forced to reduce the runway of the airport from 3,398 metres to 3,373 metres as the State provided only 34 cents of land on the Vallakadavu side for creating the mandatory Runway End Safety Area.

Of the 5.46 hectares of land sought by the AAI for creating the basic strip, 1.39 hectares is on the Shanghumughom side, 0.40 hectares on Vallakadavu side and the remaining in between.

Laxity on the part of the State government in acquiring the required land is the main reason.

The current aerodrome licence is expiring in March next and to make matters worse ICAO team are coming to inspect the airport next month. ICAO team will decide if TIA gets the license or not. The licence as per the ICAO norms is issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for adherence to safety and security standards. Apart from the ICAO audit, DGCA officials will carry out extensive inspection in the coming months on ground flight safety such as safety of runway, apron and that of approach lights, among other things. The licence is mandatory to carry out flight operations to the airport.

Right now, the AAI officials are doing whatever they can to get 5.46 hectares from the State government for creating the 150-metre basic strip on either side of the centre line of the runway.

If state government doesn’t act fast, Trivandrum International Airport will lose its License.

Source: The Hindu

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