CHENNAI: After being crippled and closed by the historic rains that lashed the State earlier this week, the Chennai airport will resume full operations from Monday morning, said the Airports Authority of India.
The incessant showers and overflowing the Adyar river had brought knee-deep water onto the runway and also inside the airport, which, coupled with the power shutdown, had brought the functioning of the airport to a grinding halt on December 1. The runway that had water, waste and snakes some days ago, was cleaned and power restored, enabling limited day-time operations by domestic airlines from Sunday morning.
“The air fields were inundated with knee-deep water and there were snakes and reptiles crawling around. The entire premise has now been cleaned and we are ready to resume work,” said Deepak Shastri, director of Chennai airport.
The national carrier, Air India, operated five flights in all, carrying passengers to and from Port Blair, from and to Delhi, and also Hyderabad. Some of the aircraft that were stranded in the airport, too, took off during the day, before the operations were stopped after sunset as instructed by the authorities.
During the day, the instrument landing system was declared safe, which enabled full restoration of operations. This came after an inspection by aviation regulator, DGCA, who gave the green light to open the airport for night time operations during which most international aircraft fly.
The AAI said in its statement that the domestic and international terminals will be operational from 6 am on Monday.
When it was shut down on Tuesday, there were around 2,000 passengers who were left stranded at the facility. It took two days to evacuate and send them to safer places by buses provided by the State government.