Cochin Airport: 3 aircraft take off as water level on runway reduces

Kurian added some cleaning work was pending at the Cochin Airport premises

CIAL premises An aerial view of flood-hit areas of Cochin International Airport in Kerala | PTI

The possibility of Cochin International Airport resuming operations as scheduled at 3pm on Sunday has improved as water levels on the runway have started receding. Cochin International Airport suspended operations on Thursday night after water accumulated on the runway following heavy rains.

V.J. Kurian, managing director of Cochin International Airport, said on Saturday morning “three aircraft that were stranded on Thursday have taken off”. He emphasised the fact that three flights have taken off shows that “there is not much of an issue”. Kurian said “everybody can take off from the airport”; he said the crew of some other stranded aircraft had chosen to stay behind.

Kurian added some cleaning work was pending at the Cochin Airport premises. Restoration work to pump out stagnant water from the airport is continuing. Officials have been using 10 motors to pump water out of the premises.

The closure of Cochin International Airport resulted in cancellations and diversion of flights to nearby airports such as Thiruvananthapuram.

The Indian Navy had announced on Friday it had opened the INS Garuda naval air station for civilian flights. However, airlines have yet to announce plans to use the facility.