Runway Has Steep Downslope, No Safety Area: Expert Warned About Kozhikodes Tabletop Runway 9 Years Ago

Image Credit: The Times Of India

The Logical Indian Crew

"Runway Has Steep Downslope, No Safety Area": Expert Warned About Kozhikode's Tabletop Runway 9 Years Ago

This article is more than 1 year old.

The Kozhikode airport has a tabletop runway, which refers to one located on the top of a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep elevation which drops into a deep gorge.

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An Air India Express plane from Dubai with 190 passengers on board skidded off the Kerala's Kozhikode runway and split into pieces. At least eighteen people, including both the pilots, died in the tragic incident.

The Boeing 737 aircraft made two attempts to land on the runway, as per the flight radar. According to a flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, the plane circled the airport several times before trying to land.

The plane, after landing, "continued running to the end of the runway and fell down in the valley and broke down in two pieces," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

The Kozhikode airport has a tabletop runway, which refers to one located on the top of a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep elevation which drops into a deep gorge.

Several international airlines had decided not to fly big aircrafts including Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 jets into Kozhikode citing safety issues over the length on the runway. Of the four airports in Kerala, the Kozhikode airport has the shortest runway and has suffered massive damage due to incessant rains in the past.

Air Safety expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan said that he had sent a detailed report around nine years ago stating that Kozhikode airport was not safe for landings.

"The runway has a steep downslope, no safety area. They were warned nine years back and given proof but they continued to operate and declared the airport safe," Captain Ranganathan said, adding that he had predicted the disaster long back.

"If there are casualties, then it is murder, a criminal offence," he said.

"There are 200-feet deep gorges on both sides of the tarmac. It is a very steep downslope. Airlines have been operating blindly there," Captain Ranganathan added.

Also Read: Kerala: 2 Pilots, 16 Others Die After Air India Express Plane From Dubai Crash Lands At Kozhikode Airport

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