Kozhikode Air crash would have been avoided if a better runway was made available, says aviation experts. The ultimate reason for the Air India Express Air crash at the Kozhikode airport is yet to be found out. However, experts have a uniform opinion that an increase in length of the run way would have avoided the mishap. Table top runways are always a pilot’s nightmare, especially when it’s raining heavily. In the Air crash that happened in Kozhikode airport, 18 people lost their lives and 100 people are injure. As the Air India Express flight crashed after overshooting the table top runway at Kozhikode airport and fell down the slope to a depth of about 35 feet.
The heavy unpredictable impact of the huge aircraft falling from the runway in to the dip broke the massive aircraft in to two pieces at the Kozhikode air crash site. It was because of the timely intervention of the deceased pilot that the crashed plane didn’t catch fire.
The runway of Kozhikode Airport is 2750 metres long. Long back in 2017, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has requested for land to increase the length of the runway by 800 metres. They suggested this increase considering the fact that the table top runway is not safe for Heavy and Super aircraft landing in adverse climatic condition. If this measures were adhered the Kozhikode Air crash would have been avoided.
The land is to be acquired by the Kerala state government and should be handed over to the AAI. The red-tapism in Kerala government and the disinterest from the part of ministers too the project to a stand-still. If the 800 metre extension was realised, the plane would have safely stopped within limits and avoided the mishap.
The state government stated that the land was not acquired because of high costs quoted by the land owners. The unscientific way of making the runway might also have added to the catastrophe. Airports which are bult on the tabletops and water bodies are normally facilitated with a facility called “Engineered Material Arresting System” EMAS. The Facility will slow down the aircraft if they overshoot the runway. In runways where the “Runway End Safety Area” RESA is less the AAI has suggested to install EMAS.
The AAI has already suggested to increase the RESA to a minimum of 250 metres and if not possible to install the EMAS. Neither of these measures were taken in the case of Kozhikode Airport. Let the Kozhikode air crash be an eye opener for the future of safety in Aviation. Even though Air travel remains to be the safest mode of transport, minor glitches in adhering to safety norms will result in grave catastrophes.