DGCA has barred the use of wide-body aircraft at Kozhikode airport this monsoon out of abundant caution, reported PTI. The decision comes days after the B737 aircraft of Air India Express with 190 people on board overshot the runway and crashed at the Kozhikode airport. 

Calicut International Airport, which has a table-top runway is on DGCA’s watch list after a similar crash in 2010 of Air India Express Boeing 737 in Mangalore, which claimed the lives of 158 people. Mangalore airport also has a tabletop runway. 

A wide-body aircraft needs a longer runway to take off or land. A tabletop airport has limited space at the end and beginning of the runway and in case of Kozhikode airport, there is a 70-feet drop after the runway.

Asked about the duration of the ban, the DGCA official said, “No date has been fixed. We will wait for the monsoon to get over, and as a means of abundant caution we are doing it.”

The senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “The special audit will be done at airports like Mumbai and Chennai that are affected by heavy rains annually.” The Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages more than 100 airports in the country, including the one in Kozhikode. However, major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.

The Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the tabletop runway on Friday night, fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into pieces, killing 18 people, including both the pilots.