CHENNAI: The Airports Authority of India has opened the Chennai Airport for limited day-time operations. According to the AAI, which runs the airport, the water has receded from the manoeuvring area and the runways and taxi are clear of water. The airport however, will be open only for limited operations involving relief and ferry flights.
In two separate statements released on Friday, the AAI said the airport has been opened for operations to first clear the stranded aircraft and then open the airport for day-time relief operations.
However, sources said while the decision to begin operations to get stranded aircraft out of the airport was taken on Friday afternoon, it could not be done because there wasn’t enough day-light left.
Beginning from daybreak on Saturday, the Chennai Airport will see stranded flights taking off and relief flights begin landing.
“At 17.30 hours IST on Friday, the water has receded in the maneuvering area at Chennai airport and the Runways and the Taxiways are clear of water. The FODs (Foreign Object Debris) have been removed from the operational area and required repair work on runway and taxiways has been carried out,” said the AAI.
It should be noted that Chennai Airport had been closed on Tuesday because the tarmac had been under two feet of water and the operational area under 7 feet of water.
However, the serviceability status of all Airport Systems, like CNS equipment, IT systems, Met equipment, are still under evaluation. “In the meantime, the AAI team carried out an inspection of the operational area and in consultation with all the stakeholders including all airline operators and regulatory authorities declared Chennai aerodrome available for limited day time operations,” the AAI said.
The operations will be on only under Visual Meteorological Conditions (day-time) for technical ferry and relief flights. “We will open it to all weather operations as and when facilities are restored,” said an official.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has released a list of seven flights approved by the Navy for December 5 that will operate to and from Arakkonam. Train services from Chennai Beach station to Arakkonam will operated at intervals of 45 minutes.