Chennai

Chennai airport suspends flight operations for 12 hours

Empty tracks: A view of a flooded runway at the Chennai airport on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

The Chennai airport has suspended domestic, international and cargo operations from 7 p.m. on Wednesday till 7 a.m. on Thursday in the wake of Cyclone Nivar.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said the decision was taken considering the safety of the passengers. Though precautionary measures were taken, they had deemed it essential to close the airport after an elaborate meeting. Before this, the airport was shut during the floods in 2015, when the runway was completely flooded. Early this year, flight operations were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

26 flights cancelled

On Wednesday, 26 flights had to be cancelled at the airport due to inclement weather in the city. Flights to cities like Kannur, Kozhikode, Hubballi, Vijayawada, Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Tiruchi were affected. Flights were also delayed.

Meanwhile, smaller aircraft like the ATR were shifted from the airport late on Tuesday to prevent damage from the winds brought by the cyclone.

It is not clear how many flights will be affected on Thursday, sources said.

AAI officials said they have been trying to ensure that there is no stagnation of water or flooding on the runway and the taxi track. Pumps have been made functional for dewatering as well. The secondary runway had been built over the Adyar. With the release of water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir, they ought to be more careful, officials said, citing past experiences from 2015.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 1:42:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-airport-suspends-flight-operations-for-12-hours/article33180777.ece

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