Kochi, Aug 16 (IANS) The Central government on Thursday agreed to open the Cochin Naval air base for commercial operations following a request by the Kerala government, officials said.
On Wednesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought the permission of the Central government to allow the Naval air base for use by airlines as the Cochin International Airport would remain closed till Saturday due to floods.
According to government sources, the Centre has accepted the state government’s request to allow flights to arrive at the Naval air base.
Being a small airport, flights like Boeing 737 can be handled at the base and CIAL authorities are having discussions with the airline authorities on this.
Vijayan, in his request, had said the bigger aircrafts should be allowed to be diverted to Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram airports, and that request also got the Centre’s nod.
Meanwhile, CIAL suffered a huge setback on Thursday as their Rs 60-crore solar power plant, one of the biggest in an airport spread over 45 acres, was submerged in the flood waters.