Kanpur may share international airport code with Lucknow

The state government has written to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry seeking the latter's intervention in getting the International Civil Aviation Organisation of United Nations to designate the international airport code of Lucknow Airport to Kanpur as well so that cargos booked for industrial units of Kanpur from foreign countries land at Lucknow airport only.

The Lucknow's Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport code is VILK and the state government wants that the same be kept for the Kanpur's Chakeri Airport as well, whose current code - VIKA - is not popular on the international civil aviation map as international flights are not operated here.

Because of this, say government officials, the cargos of raw materials booked from abroad for tanneries and textile units in Kanpur are often dropped at other international airports such as Varanasi, Lucknow, Delhi, Chennai and sometimes Mumbai as well.

This causes loss of both time and money to owners of Kanpur industrial units, who have to collect their cargos from these faraway places, officials explain.

"Once Kanpur gets the international code of Lucknow Airport, the cargos will land in Lucknow and industrial units will be able to easily collect their imported items and take them to Kanpur by road in just two hours," said a state government official.

United Nation's ICAO is the specialized agency that designates a four-character code, used as location indicator of the airport concerned, to every airport across the world. The code is also used by air traffic control and airline operations such as flight planning. ICAO also sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, efficiency, regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection.

The state has asked the aviation ministry to forward its request to the organisation.

"If the Government of India and ICAO approve the proposal, Lucknow and Kanpur, both, will have common international airport code, which is in practice in other parts of India and other countries," said an official in UP civil aviation department.

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