The DGCA has barred the operation of wide-body aircraft at Kozhikode airport this monsoon "out of abundant caution", a senior official said, adding that the aviation regulator will conduct a special audit of airports that receive heavy rains.
The decision was taken four days after a narrow-body B737 aircraft of Air India Express with 190 people on board overshot the runway and crashed at the Kozhikode airport amid downpour.
Asked about the duration of the ban, the DGCA official said, "No date has been fixed. We will wait for the monsoon to get over."
Wide-body aircraft like B747 and A350 have a bigger fuel tank and can therefore travel longer distances, as against narrow-body aircraft like B737 and A320. A wide-body aircraft also needs a longer runway length to take off or land.
The table top runway 10 of the Kozhikode airport is approximately 2,700 metres long. Wide-body aircraft operations were permitted at this airport since 2019.
The senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, "The special audit will be done at airports like Mumbai and Chennai that are affected by heavy rains annually."
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages more than 100 airports in the country, including the one in Kozhikode. However, major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.