Mangaluru, Oct 03, 2017: Kannur International Airport at Mattannur may be launched in about a year from now, Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) is gearing up to face the potential challenge that second greenfield airport in neighboring Kerala may present.
The airports - Mangaluru and Kannur are aerially separated by 128-kms. Incidentally, Calicut International Airport, the other Greenfield airport is 94-kms aerially from Kannur and 212-kms from MIA.
The impact of Kannur International Airport on MIA’s fortunes are not an issue generally, airport director Venkateshwara Rao said MIA has its own unique position in Karnataka as its only second international airport after Kempegowda International Airport at Bengaluru. "MIA has domestic-international passenger ratio of 60:40," he said adding that initial impact if any could be on international traffic with few passengers preferring to switch over to Kannur.
Air port director Rao told media that any new airport takes time to stabilize and air travellers too will weigh their options. Distance, convenience and facilities offered by the airport too matters for the discerning flyers, Rao said adding the fact that MIA ranks second among all AAI airports for customer satisfaction in South India too adds value. "We are constantly looking to evolve and add better facilities for passengers and not just keeping competition in mind," he said.
Highlighting the popularity of the airport, Rao said the number of passengers handled at the airport has gone up to an average of 7500/day as against 5500/day a year ago. The number of daily aircraft movements touching popular domestic and international destinations too gives us the edge over the nearest airports in Kerala, he said, adding Kannur airport as and when is operational will pose more questions to neighbouring Calicut airport, than expected here.