The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) plans to conduct a special audit of the Chennai airport.
This comes in the wake of the accident in Kozhikode when an Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the runway amidst heavy rain, leaving 18 dead and several severely injured.
Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said there might be an audit soon, but they were yet to hear from the DGCA. “We are ready for an inspection whenever it happens. Ultimately, the safety of passengers matters more than anything else. Should the authorities make any recommendations or suggestions for any change, we are ready to implement it at the earliest,” an official said.
Although Chennai does not witness very heavy rainfall every year, the 2015 rains and the flooding of the city and the airport had a massive impact and the airport had to remain shut for several days.
Aviation safety experts had warned on many occasions about the secondary runway of the airport. A section of the runway is built across Adyar river on a bridge, and experts had flagged concerns over safety issues.
Experts had warned about the possibility of flooding of the runway during heavy rainfall. An IIT-Madras team did a study with the help of an Unmanned Aerial System to analyse reasons for flooding of the airport.
The IIT-M team gave a host of recommendations, including installation of temporary flood barriers, raising the height of some of the critical infrastructure and re-routing and resizing of storm drains to the AAI to prevent flooding of the airport.