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Last Updated : Aug 15, 2018 10:13 PM IST | Source: PTI

Kochi airport shut till August 18, govt to ask centre to allow small aircrafts to land at naval airport

Rains in the state have claimed 47 lives, officials said, adding a red alert has been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts.

The Cochin International Airport today suspended all flight operations till Saturday as water gushed the airport area following unabated rains and the opening of dam shutters in the Periyar river.

Chief Minster Pinarayi Vijayan called an urgent meeting at the Secretariat and decided to seek permission from the Centre to allow small aircrafts to land at the naval airport in Kochi.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), which decided to suspend the arrival operations at 4 am to 7 am today as a precautionary measure, had earlier said the airport would be shut till 2 pm.

It later issued another advisory saying the operations have been suspended till Saturday afternoon.

A spokesperson of the airport said, "Kochi Airport operations have been temporarily suspended till Saturday 2 pm as the inflow of water is still on a rising trend. We are working hard to drain out the storm water."

An official statement said the state government would soon approach the Civil Aviation Ministry asking whether small flights to Kochi could be allowed to land at the naval airport.

It would also request the ministry to utilise the other two airports in the state - Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram - instead of reverting the flights to Mumbai and other places, the statement said.

The chief minister asked officials to make necessary arrangements to take passengers, who may be landing in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, to their respective places by state-run buses.

Earlier today, passengers faced problems due to suspension of operations as they had already reached the airport to catch flights. They complained of not getting assistance from any authorities.

Rains in the state have claimed 47 lives, officials said, adding a red alert has been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts.

According to weathermen, heavy rainfall accompanied by gusty winds with speed reaching 60 kmph, is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts.
First Published on Aug 15, 2018 07:38 pm
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