CHENNAI: The heavy rains and crosswinds in the city on Thursday affected operations at the Chennai airport as aircraft arrivals were suspended for nearly five hours after officials activated the contingency plan on Wednesday night.
The Chennai Airport Director Dr Sharad Kumar said the decision to suspend arrivals of aircraft was taken keeping in mind the safety of passengers.
The wet and windy day had resulted in the cancellation of 22 arrivals as well as 28 departures. All these were domestic flights, said a spokesman. 14 flights were diverted.
Interestingly, the Chennai Airport allowed departures on the condition that the aircraft will not return to the city. "The decision on departures was taken so that passengers don't get stranded," said Dr Kumar.
Interestingly, the Chennai Airport had come up with a contingency plan on Wednesday night.
Video stories that speak louder than words. Footage of the havoc wreaked by water in and around #Chennai, shot by TNIE photojournalists and journalists.— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) November 11, 2021
@xpresstn @ashwinacharya05 @shibasahu2012 @haisat2005 @martin_tnie @Jawahar_TNIE #ChennaiRains https://t.co/Ao3gfqxKPO
The Airport Authority of India had made special arrangements at the airport to meet the emergencies arising due to adverse weather conditions. The Food and Beverage outlets in the airport were advised to keep sufficient stocks to meet the demand. The airlines have all been advised to inform passengers well in advance in case of delays/ rescheduling /cancellations in schedule.
During 2015 in Chennai, floods forced the closure of the Chennai airport for at least four days. The Airport Authority of India then had joined hands with the Indian Institute of Technology to map the geography of the airport and its surrounding areas using a drone to plan a long-term solution to prevent flooding. It was then planned to map the airport and the surrounding water bodies up to 5-10 kilometers radius from the airport.