Kozhikode: The Centre has insisted on reducing the runway at Karipur International Airport here for safety reasons.
The Civil Aviation ministry has said reducing the length of the existing runway was the best solution as the state government failed to complete land acquisition for setting up Runway Safety Area (RSA).
The clarification was given by VK Singh, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, to a query from Abdussamad Samadani MP.
Earlier, a committee, chaired by Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Fali Homi Major that had been set up to recommend safety mechanisms for the airport following air crash on August 7, 2020 that claimed 21 lives had called for setting up the RSA.
As per the committee's recommendation, the state government was asked to acquire sufficient land for the purpose.
The Centre has alleged that state failed to do that despite multiple talks in the last nine months, most recently on October 31, 2022.
According to the National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, the state governments are supposed to acquire the land for the purpose. However, an exception was made for Karipur with the Airport Authority of India reportedly agreeing to bear the expense of Rs 120 crore.
The state informed the Centre that the cost would be much higher, at least Rs 160 crore.
The minister in his reply had said that the setting up of the RSA was essential to ensure the safe landing of flights at Karipur.