The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) on Saturday stated that flight operations will resume at the airport from 12 pm on Sunday, August 11.
"Kochi Airport is ready. Flight operations begin at 12 noon tomorrow; that is ahead of deadline. Airlines are instructed to facilitate services accordingly," the airport stated. CIAL had earlier on Saturday said that the water level at the Kochi airport was receding and authorities have started cleaning operations. Originally, flight operations at the airport were suspended till 3 pm on Sunday, August 11, after heavy rains inundated the airport.
The airport in a Facebook post had stated, â€śApron water level is receding. Started cleaning operations. Also successfully carried out ferry operation (three out of 8 stranded aircraft departed).â€ť The airport apron or tarmac is the area of an airport where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled, or boarded.
After heavy rainfall, sixty per cent pf the operating area of the airport had become submerged and areas including the fire station, goods carrying area and taxiway of Terminal 3 had been inundated.
Though the airport was shut till 12.00 am on Friday, the suspension of operation was extended to 9.00 am later, and to Sunday afternoon after that. All flights flying to and from the airport were cancelled or diverted. On Friday, the Indian Navy opened its airport INS Garuda for civil aircraft operations in Kochi due to the non-availability of the civilian airport.
The flooding of the airport was caused by the heavy water flow in the Periyar river. The Kochi airport is situated on a low-lying area and last year too, the airport was shut for many days during the floods.
Heavy rainfall in northern and central Kerala continued on Saturday, with the death toll rising to 42. The worst affected districts are Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram, with 29 people dead in the floods that struck the districts in the past three days. Landslides in Wayanad and Nilambur are disrupting the traffic and are proving to be a challenge for the rescue and relief operations.