There is some good news for travellers flying to/from the flood-hit city of Kochi!
Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has announced that it will resume flight operations from 29th August 2018.
The airport has been shut since 15th August because of massive floods in the region, after various dams in Idukki district opened their gates in the wake of heavy rains.
Initially the airport was to start from 26th August, however, Officials said that the opening had been put off by three days as 90 percent of the staff had been affected by Kerala’s worst floods in a century.
After intense rescue operations, the Southern Naval command on Wednesday called off its 14-day long operation in flood-hit Kerala, saying there were no more requests for evacuation as waters were receding in affected areas.
It also said Naval personnel rescued a total of 16,005 people during ‘Operation Madad’, launched on August 9 for assisting the state administration and undertaking disaster relief operations.
Flights were diverted to Trivandrum Airport and Calicut Airport after Cochin International Airport was shut down. Trivandrum International Airport handled a total of 480 additional flights till yesterday. As many as 146 rescue and relief flights were also operated from the airport. The airport managed around 30,000 additional passengers during these days, including Haj pilgrims.
Things seem to be coming back to normal, however, Cochin International Airport has suffered a lot of damage due to the floods. It is reported that the airport has suffered an estimated loss of Rs 220 crores.
Large sections of the airport suffered damage after the Periyar River, which is located in close proximity to the compound, overflowed. The flood water completely submerged runways, taxi bays and the duty-free shops in both the domestic and international terminals.
Another aspect that suffered severe damage during the floods is the solar power system of the airport. The airport has garnered headlines in the past few years as the world’s first completely solar-powered airport.
CIAL has started work on rebuilding crucial infrastructure, including 2.5 km of walls that were damaged in the floods.