A week after the Kochi Airport shut down following floods in Kerala, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has announced on Wednesday that operations will resume on August 29th. An update posted on their official Facebook page stated that CIAL had decided to postpone opening the airport.
"A meeting was held at CIAL today to review the damage control activities at Kochi airport, wherein most of the stake-holders including airlines and ground handling agencies expressed their concerns over mobilising manpower. It was informed that 90% of their staffers got affected with the flood and are out of station. Nearby hotels, restaurants and eateries still remain close. As central Kerala is yet to recover from post flood trauma, it is a daunting task to arrange local commutation, logistics of catering items, which will cause a cascading effect on the passengers. In view of these apprehensions, CIAL decides to extend the date of resuming operations for three more days. We will be starting all operations at 1400 hours in 29/08/2018," reads the statement.
On Tuesday, CIAL had stated that flood waters have completely drained off its runway, taxiway and parking bays and that it hoped to resume operations on August 26. It had also stated that milling work on the runway will be completed in two days. CIAL added that cleaning work inside the terminals is in progress and re-construction work has already begun.
Following the flooding of the Chengalthodu canal close to the airport, all flight services were halted on August 15 due to waterlogging. CIAL had earlier announced that it would open on August 18. However, given the severity of the floods, the date was deferred to August 26.
Kerala witnessed the worst floods in a century with over 350 being killed since the monsoons began on May 29. Over 10 lakh people have been displaced and state government has pegged monetary losses at over Rs 19,000 crore.