Cochin airport to reopen on 29 August, officials say 90 percent staff got affected by Kerala floods

Kochi: Flight operations from the flood-hit international airport, which was rendered non functional for over a week, will resume from 29 August instead of 26 August as announced earlier.

"The decision to extend the date was taken at a meeting at Cochin International Airport Limited, where most stakeholders, including airlines and ground handling agencies, expressed concern over mobilising manpower by that date," a CIAL spokesperson said.

Representative image. AFP.

Representative image. AFP.

The meeting, held to review damage control activities,was informed that 90 percent of staff have been affected by the floods and are out of station. Nearby hotels, restaurants and eateries still remain closed.

"As central Kerala was yet to recover from post-flood trauma, it is a daunting task to arrange local commutation, logistics of catering items, which will cause a cascading effect on passengers. In view of these apprehensions, CIAL decided to extend the date of resuming operations for three more days. We will be starting all operations at 2 pm on 29 August", the spokesperson said in a release here.

CIAL, among the busiest in the country, suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 220 crore due to the floods and was rendered non-functional since 15 August.

The CIAL management has launched rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure, including 2.6 km long airport walls that collapsed after the Periyar river overflowed.

Airport officials had said the runway, taxi bay, duty free shops and other areas of international and domestic terminals were submerged, causing damage to electrical equipment, including runway lights.

The solar power system of the world's first solar powered airport has also suffered damage in the floods, they had said. Meanwhile, the Naval Air Station, INS Garuda, commenced civil aircraft operations from Monday.

The devastating deluge left 231 people dead over the past 15 days and displaced over 14 lakh people.

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 21:25:44 IST

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