Chennai/New Delhi, Dec 12: No flight on Monday landed or took off from Chennai Airport as NOTAM (notice to airmen) was issued on Tuesday morning as the severe cyclonic storm 'Vardah', the most intense to have hit the Tamil Nadu capital in two decades, made a landfall near the city.
A NOTAM was issued this morning after strong cyclonic winds and poor visibility hit Chennai and other parts of the state, throwing life out of gear. NOTAM, is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.
The Airports Authority of India reviewed the situation at the Chennai airport at around 9 pm and decided to extend the NOTAM till 11 pm on Tuesday night, sources said.
Operations at the Chennai airport were suspended, resulting in diversion of 25 incoming flights, including those from international destinations, to the nearby Hyderabad and Bangalore airports.
Besides, nearly 25 outbound flights were delayed. Arrival of all flights and departure was cancelled. "As of now, operations at the Chennai airport remain suspended. There is no damage to the runway, But we have shut radars because of the high speed winds.
There is some power supply issue at the ATC complex, which the local authorities are trying to restore. But we have all other contingency measures in place," a senior AAI official in Delhi said.
Meanwhile, private carrier Jet Airways has said it has put in place arrangements to fly those passengers whose flights were diverted due to the Chennai airport closure.
"To this end, airline's Guests booked on domestic flights diverted to Bengaluru and Hyderabad will be flown back to their cities of origin, so as to minimise their inconvenience," Jet Airways said in a statement.
In view of the prevailing inclement weather due cyclonic conditions in Chennai and in the interest of safety of its guests, crew and aircraft, all Jet Airways flights to/from Chennai stand cancelled up to Tuesday midnight,it said.
Furthermore, guests may cancel or rebook/change their itinerary as required, without any penalty for the affected flights only, the airline said.
Budget carrier IndiGo has offered full refund, for those passengers affected to and from Chennai due to severe weather conditions, between December 12 to December 13.
"We are also waiving off change fee for those who wish to reschedule/edit their itinerary. Along with that we are and will be providing refreshments to those passengers stranded at the airport," IndiGo said.
" We are constantly assessing the situation and will extend the relief to affected passengers till required," the airline said. Air India has said it has decided to waive off the cancellation charges for all its flights to and from Chennai for today and tomorrow.