Kannur: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu commissioned the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) on Sunday.
The first flight from the airport was flagged off by the chief guests at 10 a.m. It was an Air India Express flight with 180 passengers to Abu Dhabi. All passengers on-board received a gift from KIAL.
This is Kerala’s fourth international airport. The other three are located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Hundreds of people, including politicians, were present to witness a cultural programme ahead of the take off of the Abu Dhabi flight. Two more flights were listed for the day. Flights operating from KIAL include those to the UAE, Oman, Qatar, besides domestic ones to Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai among a few others.
The KIAL is slated to serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually.
It is expected to boost tourism in Kannur, Kasargode, Wayanad and increase trade and commerce in the handloom and spices sectors. The airport would be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time.