An Airports Authority of India (AAI) official on Saturday told news agency ANI that there is no immediate plan to shut airports in the wake of cyclone Tauktae as there is no clarity about areas that will be “most affected” due to the natural disaster.
“Right now it is not clear that which area will be most affected due to the cyclone. We do not have a plan to shut the airports as of now,” the official said.
A high-level operational review meeting of the AAI is underway with senior officials over the situation.
“After IMD alerted us about the recent cyclone Tauktae, AAI is closely monitoring the weather patterns and how it will affect… Accordingly, if the parameters are not in accordance with the aircraft operation then only we will take action,” AAI senior official told ANI.
“It is an operational measure and we are taking care of all these things… All our airport operation personnel, airport directors, and ATCs of the respective airports are trained to deal with such a calamity and they have handled it before as well. Therefore, we are following the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),” the official added.
After the cyclonic warning, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed several teams on the ground. At least 24 teams have been pre-deployed and 29 teams are on standby for Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, SN Pradhan, NDRF Director General, told ANI.
A multi-faceted team is monitoring the cyclone vulnerability. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), AAI, DGCA, IMD, Disaster Management Team, and airlines are in touch with the concerned authorities for further decision.
As cyclone Tauktae intensified into a cyclonic storm, air carriers Vistara and IndiGo have stated that their flight operations are likely to be affected due to the adverse conditions.
Issuing a travel advisory, Vistara said that flights to and from Chennai, Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Ahmedabad might be impacted till 17 May. IndiGo also said that flights to and from Kerala’s Kannur will be impacted.
The airline tweeted, “Travel Advisory: Due to Cyclone Tauktae, flights to/from Kannur are impacted. You may visit Plan B to opt for alternate options or get a refund.”
The cyclone is likely to impact areas including the coast of Kerala, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Goa, and Maharashtra.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials had assured on Friday that they were well prepared for cyclone Tauktae and 53 teams had been committed, 24 teams pre-deployed, and 29 teams were on standby-ready for the 5 most vulnerable states.
(With inputs from ANI)
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