Saturday, August 25, 2018

Call grows for using naval air station in tandem with CIAL for civilian flights

Kochi: The opening of naval air station INS Garuda in Kochi for civilian flights following the temporary closure of Cochin International Airport has come as a blessing for those stranded due to one of the worst floods in Kerala’s history.

However, the incident has once again underscored the need for a permanent airfield inside the city for the operation of small civilian aircraft, which has been a long-pending demand. The air station will be closed for civilian ops once Nedumbassery airport reopens.

According to analysts, air traffic from Kochi has been growing at a much faster pace compared to other Indian cities. One of the main shortcomings is that the main airport is around 38 km away from the heart of the city. Aviation analyst Jacob K Philip said the state should explore the feasibility of using the naval air station, which had been a civilian airport till the 2000s, for both civilian and defence purposes as it’s vital for a city like Kochi.
25/08/18  Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express