Karipur Airport, Kozhikode
Karipur Airport, Kozhikode (also known as Calicut) Image Credit: ANI

He’s been taking a flight to Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, from Dubai every year, for 32 years, and always had a “pleasant landing” at Karipur Airport.

K.C.Nissar, a long-time resident of Dubai, spoke to gulfnews.com about his experience of travelling to the airport, in news for the fateful Air India Express flight that crashed last Friday.

The facility was opened to the public in 1988, and serves the areas of Kozhikode and Malappuram. As per online sources, the airport serves as an operating base for Air India Express and Haj pilgrimage services from the Indian state of Kerala.

“I travelled to Calicut as recently as January of this year… I had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of a friend of mine. The flight was smooth, very pleasant. I’ve always had a pleasant experience when the flight lands in Karipur Airport.

“In all these years … decades, I might have experienced some mild turbulence once when flying to Calicut.”

A pleasant experience

A native of Kerala, Calicut is home. “I grew up there, it is green, has tropical weather as seen in the south of India. My house is there, where I have settled. Monsoons are heavy, there are mountains but the terrain is mixed.

“I’ve never had any concerns while landing at Karipur. The airport itself is not very big, but it is comfortable, the service is fast and the immigration officials are helpful. There are restaurants in there. The ambience is good. As I said… it has always been a pleasant experience for me,” Nissar added.

“The flight usually takes about four hours or so and it is very convenient. Otherwise I have to take a flight to Kannur airport, which is far from home. From Karipur, it takes only about an hour for me to reach home once I come out of the airport. Kannur would take two hours.”

Convenience and passenger request was one of the key reasons the Karipur Airport was established. Located in hilly terrain the tabletop runway is considered to offer one of the most picturesque ‘approach views’ for aircraft passengers, almost like a postcard advertisement for the state.

“It is green all around with the mountains, as the aircraft comes in… like Kerala, very pleasant and nice.”

But has the crash affected perceptions in any way?

“We were shocked when we heard about the crash and worried if there were any close friends or people we know onboard and sadness for all those who had lost their lives.” But, it will not stop him from flying to Karipur Airport.