The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Monday said flight operations at Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Jharsuguda and Durgapur airports are likely to be hit due to cyclone Yaas, while instructing other airports in the eastern region to be on alert in view of a possibility of change in path of cyclonic winds. It also said that civil aviation authorities in the country are taking all precautions and keeping a close tab on the movement of cyclone, which is approaching the eastern coast of the country. "While flight operations at Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Jharsuguda and Durgapur airports are likely to be impacted by the cyclone; Ranchi, Patna, Raipur, Jamshedpur, Bagdogra, Cooch Behar, Vizag and Rajahmundry airports have been instructed to be on alert in case the cyclonic winds change path," the AAI said in a release.
Keeping safety of airport infrastructure, manpower and safe flight operations in mind, airports have been advised to "anticipate, plan and protect" to safeguard the airport infrastructure and civil aviation services, it said. Due to heavy rain and winds of 20-25 knots gusting up to 35 knots, scheduled civil flight operations at the Port Blair Airport in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been suspended for Monday, as per the release. The cyclone is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around May 26 noon as a "very severe cyclonic storm".
It is expected to bring in winds of 155 to 165 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 180 kmph. Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola took stock of the preparedness of the various airports in the region that may be impacted due to the cyclone in a virtual meeting with AAI Chairman Sanjiv Kumar Singh and other officials, it said. The meeting was attended by the AAI member of operations and planning; eastern regional executive director; airport directors of eastern and southern airports; IMD officials; Indian Navy, among others. "Civil Aviation Ministry and AAI are closely monitoring the situation with regular review meetings. Secretary Civil Aviation on Monday chaired a meeting to take stock of the preparedness of various airports that may likely be impacted by the cyclone, the AAI said in the release.
Kharola instructed that all preventive measures be in place at all airports that are likely to be impacted by the cyclone, to minimise any damage, the AAI said, adding, senior management at the Airports Authority, along with IMD, is consistently monitoring the situation at all other airports in southern and eastern India. The AAI also said that as per the latest IMD weather bulletin, after laying practically stationary over East-central Bay of Bengal, cyclone Yaas is very likely to move slowly north-northwest awards, intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours. It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning. It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar islands around noon of May 26 as a very severe cyclonic storm", the AAI said in the release. The AAI chairman along with the senior officers is closely monitoring the situation with regular review meetings, it stated.