After being shut more than 48 hours, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in Nedumbaserry resumed its flight operations from 12 pm on Sunday. The Kochi airport was shut on August 8 as the apron or tarmac was inundated due to heavy rains.
Indigo flight arriving from Abu Dhabi is the first flight to land Kochi airport on Sunday. The first flight to depart from Kochi airport after its reopening will be to Abu Dhabi at 2 pm.
As the water started receding and the cleaning process was underway, the CIAL authorities on Saturday said that the flight operations will resume at 12 pm, ahead of its initial deadline of 3 pm on Sunday. Ferry operation (three out of eight stranded aircraft departed) were also carried out.
The airport was shut after the airport apron or tarmac, the area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refuelled or boarded, was inundated, caused by the heavy water flow in the Periyar river.
Due to heavy rainfall, almost 60% of the operating area of the airport was submerged. The fire station, goods carrying area and taxiway of Terminal 3, too, were inundated. Several flights were cancelled or diverted.
On Friday, the Indian Navy opened its airport INS Garuda for civil aircraft operations in Kochi as the civilian airport was not operational.
While the water level in Ernakulam has started receding, districts such as Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod has been issued red warning with heavy to very heavy rainfall. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, at a press meet on Sunday, said that 60 deaths due to floods and landslides have been confirmed so far.