Kochi airport, which will be closed till August 26 due to flooding of key areas of the aerodrome such as runway, taxiway, parking bays and apron, has lost almost 2,600 m of the perimeter wall.
“We hope we can resume operations on August 26, as announced earlier. Cleaning work inside terminals is under way. The waterlogging in runway, taxiway, parking bays is completely receded. The runway needs some milling work, which will be completed within two days,” Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said in a statement on Tuesday.
“To ensure utmost safety, all runway lights (almost 800 of them) have to be removed, tested and refitted. Another challenge is reconstruction of the flood-hit perimeter wall. We have lost almost 2,600 m of the wall,” CIAL said, adding that the reconstruction work has already started. Parallel to this, the airport operator is erecting ready-to-use structures, as per security norms, to meet the deadline.
The seventh largest airport in the country, in terms of passenger traffic, sees almost 55 per cent of its traffic from international passengers. Following the closure of the airport, some airlines have moved their Kochi operations to nearby airports such as Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, while some have started operating from the naval air base in the city. The INS Garuda naval base served as Kochi’s main airport till the year 2000.