CHENNAI: Chennai Airport has come out with a contingency plan after Chennai received heavy rains on Wednesday and IMD predicted more rainfall for Thursday. While domestic and international flights have either been rescheduled or cancelled at Chennai Airport due to the weather, the operation was normal as of Wednesday evening. It is learnt that Chennai Airport director Sharad Kumar and airport officials have taken several steps to ensure smooth flow of passengers at the airport.
While airlines and other stakeholders have been advised to position more staff to guide passengers, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has made special arrangements to meet the emergencies arising due to adverse weather conditions.
Food and beverage outlets in the airport have been advised to keep sufficient stock and airlines have been
advised to inform passengers well in advance in case of delays/rescheduling/cancellations. “Airport security and State police have been advised about necessary coordination so that passengers don’t face inconvenience. The NDRF has also been alerted for support when required,” said Chennai Airport director Sharad Kumar.
On the airside, ground handlers have been advised over mooring of aircraft and to ensure safety of ground-support equipment and personnel. AAI is also continuously monitoring the water levels at Adyar river bridge (secondary runway portion).
In 2015, floods forced closure of the Chennai airport for at least four days. AAI had then joined hands with the Indian Institute Technology (IIT) 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 waterbodies within 5-10 km radius of the airport.
Flights cancelled, rescheduled
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, many flight operators cancelled their flights. These include an Indigo flight from Madurai (arrival at 7.30 pm), Air Arabia flight from Sharjah (arrival at 8.55 pm), Indigo flights from Tiruchy (arrival at 10.30 pm) and Mumbai (arrival at 1am) and Indigo flights from Chennai to Madurai (at 4.10 pm), Mumbai (at 7.55pm) and Tiruchy (at 7.55 pm).
Similarly, international flights which were to arrive at Chennai on Thursday morning have also been cancelled. These include two Emirates flights from Dubai and an Air Arabia flight from Sharjah (arrival at 3 am). Some have been rescheduled. These include Fly Dubai flight from Dubai to Chennai and Chennai to Dubai, Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Chennai and Chennai to Bahrain and British Airways flight from London to Chennai and Chennai to London.