Flight operations from Cochin airport to resume on 29 Aug

Kochi: Flight operations from the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) airport here, which suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 220 crore due to floods, will resume on 29 August.

The airport, among the busiest in the country, had been rendered non-functional since 14 August due to flooding and torrential rains.

CIAL is all set to commence full-scale operations (both international and domestic) at 2 pm on August 29,” a CIAL spokesperson said here in a statement.

Civil aircraft services which were being operated from the Naval airport in Kochi since 20 August would be suspended from noon that day, he said.

The airlines would follow the current schedule for operations, he said, adding they had been intimated of the airport’s readiness to commence operations to ensure smooth functioning of services as per schedule.

The airport was scheduled to commence operations on 26 August, but extended the date by three days after most stakeholders, including airlines and ground handling agencies, expressed concern over mobilising manpower by that date.

A damage control review meeting on 22 August was informed that 90 per cent of the staff were affected by the floods and that nearby hotels, restaurants and eateries were also closed. The CIAL management has launched rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure, including 2.6 km long airport walls that collapsed after the Periyar river overflowed.

Airport officials had said the runway, taxi bay, duty free shops and other areas of international and domestic terminals were submerged, damaging electrical equipment, including runway lights.

The solar power system of the world’s first solar powered airport also suffered damage in the floods, they had said. The devastating deluge has claimed the lives of 321 people and rendered thousands homeless.