Saturday, August 10, 2019

Kerala floods: Navy airport to open for small flights

Kochi: The Southern Naval Command has agreed to open its air station, INS Garuda, at Willingdon Island here for small commercial flights after the rain inundated the Cochin International Airport, rendering it non-functional till Sunday evening.

“There has been a request from the state government to open the Navy airport for small commercial flights. We are ready to extend all help,” the Navy spokesman told Express. “The airport is ready, and we will provide all possible assistance to the state government,” he added.

Earlier on Friday,  Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) announced that its airport at Nedumbassery will be shut down till 3 pm on Sunday as waters flooded its runway and the apron area. During the 2018 floods also, the naval air station was opened for commercial flights after the Nedumbassery airport was closed following flooding. It was the first time that the naval airport was opened for commercial flights after the Nedumbassery airport became operational in 1999.
A C K Nair, Asia-Pacific director of CIAL, told Express that the airport is doing everything to ensure that the flight services are resumed as early as possible. “If the rain subsides, we are confident of opening the airport for commercial operations by Sunday,” Nair said. He said CIAL and the state government have sought the help of the Navy to open its airport at Willingdon Island. “A final decision will have to come from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” he said.
10/08/19 New Indian Express
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