Kochi: The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has decided to resume operations from the airport at 12 noon on Sunday, three hours ahead of the planned time of 3 p.m. The recovery works undertaken by the company in the flooded airport have been found effective.
“The runway is intact with no tears/mar-ks/slush traits reported. This really helped. The international terminal apron was the most affected area. Parts of the taxiway and three taxiway links were also inundated. The domestic terminal apron was partially affected while a 100- metre portion of southern perimeter security wall collapsed,” said a CIAL official. The CIAL had started recovery operations on Friday, draining out water usi-ng five pumps and AR-FF fire engines while the cleaning operations were undertaken simultaneously. “Priority was given to ready at least one taxiway link by 10 a.m. on Saturday so that the stranded 8 aircraft could be push-ed back to the runway.
This turned successful. By 12 noon, six out of the eight stranded aircraft departed. Two will follow the regular schedule on Sunday,” said the official.
A review meeting held at 2 p.m. came to the conclusion that the airport can be made operational by 12 noon on Sunday. The official said that all the 24 airlines were briefed and instructed to facilitate the services accordingly. Check-in will start at 9 a.m. on Sunday at both domestic and international terminals.
Since the preparations were undertaken to operationalise the airport on a war-footing, CIAL did not pursue the option of running the Naval airport, though the Navy had made all arrangements for the same.
The moves to open the Navy airport for domestic travel created confusion among the domestic passengers, who gave up arrangements to go to Thiruvanathapuram airport by road to catch flights and were stranded in Kochi....