After the incident of Indian Airlines shocks the country, discussions are on tabletop runways. Landing flights on tabletop runways is a huge challenge for pilots, especially when it is raining. The Karipur flight tragedy happened as a result of this.
Earlier too there have been several such accidents in the past also where airplanes have skidded off from tabletop runways in the country. The most recent is the Mangalore tragedy that happened in 2010 that killed 158 passengers onboard.
Karipur airport also has a tabletop runway. Houses and other buildings are located at the bottom of this tabletop runway. Unlike in the Mangalore accident, the flight did not fall off from the edge. This avoided an even bigger tragedy. It is hinted that the pilot’s sight was blocked by the rain or the mist, causing the flight to skid off the runway.
After the Mangalore flight tragedy, the number of flight services to Karipur airport was reduced due to security reasons. Director general of civil aviation had pointed out that the length of the runway, parallel taxi and runway and safety area at Karipur airport had to be increased as per law.
Following this, the Airport authority of India increased the length of the runway and safety area of the airport from 90 metres to 240 metres along with setting up necessary lighting arrangements.
Apart from Karipur airport, the newly constructed Kannur airport also has tabletop runway. However, pilots have pointed out that the length of the runway at Kannur airport can nullify all the limitations of tabletop runways.