Kochi international airport partially opened

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on August 29, 2011

The Gulf Air aircraft, stuck in slush, after it shot off the runway at the Cochin International Airport on Monday. Photo: H. Vibhu.   -  The Hindu

Operations hit as Gulf Air flight skids off runway

The runway at Cochin International Airport, which was closed from the early hours following an accident involving a Gulf Air flight, was partially opened for flight service by afternoon.

Airport officials told Business Line that three flights had landed at the airport, that of Oman Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines and IX 411 Air India Express. The officials said that only 10 domestic flights and an international flight were cancelled and the remaining flights were rescheduled.

Meanwhile, the two-member team from the DGCA led by Assistant Director, Mr Durai Raj, has reached CIAL and started their investigations. The ferry flight of Air India carrying the rescue operation equipment to lift the nose wheel system and tow the damaged flight is expected to reach any time.

The airport company has also engaged two of its cranes of 50 and 60 tonnes capacity to lift the aircraft that had skidded off the runway into the muddy area damaging its nose wheel. CIAL has also engaged a bigger size crane of 100-tonne capacity from Cochin Shipyard Ltd to support the clearing of the damaged aircraft from the runway.

The Gulf Air flight A320 had shot off the runway at the city's international airport as it touched down the tarmac early this morning. The accident occurred at 3.50 a.m. Airport officials attributed the accident to turbulent weather and the consequent low visibility standards.

Operations at Cochin International Airport will be back to normal by 11.30 p.m. tonight.

The runway needed at least 3,100 metres to operate for bigger aircraft like 737s.

The Gulf Air flight from Bahrain, which was involved in the accident, is lying 31 metres right to the central line. The exact position of the flight right now is 2,300 metres south of 09 westerly approach, he said.

Except for one passenger, airport officials could complete the check-out formalities within 55 minutes after the incident, Mr Kurien said.

One person, who suffered fracture, has been hospitalised while six others were discharged after giving first aid.

Published on August 29, 2011

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