Due to heavy rains and flooding in nearby areas, Cochin Airport had stopped the operations of arrival flights on Thursday for a few hours.
The arrivals were halted as a precautionary measure following the opening of the Idamalayar and Cheruthoni reservoirs, due to rising water levels in the Periyar river.
According to a statement released by Cochin International Airport Limited(CIAL), operations are running normal at the Kochi airport since the area is not affected by the floods. There have been no cancellations in flights so far.
However, visuals from Kerala are not so reassuring. With all five dams of the Idukki reservoir being open for the first time in the history, people living on the banks of Periyar river and adjoining areas are on high alert. Nedumbassery, where the airport is situated, is adjacent to Aluva, one of the areas which has been severely affected by floods.
Airline companies, which operate services in the state, are keeping their fingers crossed. The companies will have to incur huge operational cost in case of flight diversions to neighbouring airports if the Cochin Airport is closed.
They also fear that if their airplanes are stranded at the airport due to the floods, their entire schedule would get severely affected. For an airline company, aircraft being stuck in airports is a serious issue than incurring operational expenditure due to flight diversion.
The state government has instructed the authorities at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and the Calicut International Airport to get prepared to receive airplanes in case the airport is closed.
In 2013, officials had to shut down Cochin Airport, when the adjoining Chengal Canal overflowed after opening the upper Sholayar dam and four shutters of Idamalyar dam due to heavy rainfall, leading to massive floods.