After a fatal air crash at Mangalore airport in Karnataka State in 2010, a member of India's Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) had red-flagged the safety of Karipur airport in Kerala (also called Calicut airport). Karipur, like Mangalore, is a table-top airport, where there was no room for error while landing.
Captain Ranganathan, a member of CASAC – had warned that the “Calicut (Karipur) runway does not have a minimum RESA (Runway End Safety Areas) on one end and NO RESA on the other.”
“The Air India Express accident in Mangalore should have alerted the AAI (Airport Authority of India) to make the runway conditions safe,” said Captain Ranganathan. The pilot had warned of a dangerous situation in Karipur, “especially in wet conditions”.
Again, exactly a year ago, the national aviation regulator, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), had issued a warning to Calicut (Karipur) International Airport after an audit. The show cause notice said, “Excessive rubber deposits are observed....” on the runways, which could reduce friction, leading to the unsafe landing of aircraft, especially during heavy rain.
“...it is inferred that critical parts of aerodrome required to conduct safe aircraft operations at Calicut (Karipur) International Airport, Calicut are not maintained according to requirements set out in CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement...,” read the notice by DGCA.
According to meteorological warnings for the region on Friday, the weather condition was extreme. The national weather forecasting agency – the India Meteorological Department, had sounded a red alert in Kozhikode (Calicut) and Malapuram districts on Friday as they were inundated with over 20 cm rain.
Meanwhile, an investigation team from DGCA, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau and top Air India officials are expected to arrive in Kozhikode (Calicut) on Saturday.
#WATCH Latest visuals from Kozhikode International Airport in Karipur, Kerala where an #AirIndiaExpress flight crash-landed yesterday.— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2020
18 people, including two pilots, have lost their lives in the incident. pic.twitter.com/r1YRiIkbrM
Almost 10 years ago, an Air India Express from Dubai to Mangalore crashed while landing. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, carrying166 passengers on board, overshot the table-top runway and crashed into the valley, before bursting into flames. The crash left only eight survivors.