Airport officials suspended repairs on Mumbai’s main runway for the second consecutive day on Tuesday owing to poor visibility.
Tuesday was less chaotic for fliers compared to the past three days when air traffic was affected due to fog in Delhi. Mumbai airport’s secondary runway is not equipped with an Instrument Landing System, a ground aid used during poor visibility. With the city experiencing fog on Tuesday, the secondary runway could not be used for operations.
The average delays were not more than 30 minutes. A handful flights such as the Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Bangalore was diverted to Chennai because of fog in the IT capital. An Air India spokesperson said that incoming flights from Delhi were marginally delayed.
Flight movement improved mainly because Delhi skies were clearer on Tuesday. According to a statement from civil aviation ministry low visibility was enforced at the Indira Gandhi International airport for nearly 10 hours, however, not a single flight was diverted or cancelled. The weather bureau, however, predicted a dip in visibility at Delhi during the late evening on Tuesday.
Dense fog in the capital and other north Indian cities such as Chandigarh had grounded hundreds of passengers in the past three days. “More than poor visibility the reason to suspend repairs at Mumbai’s main runway was to make it available for several flights diverted from Delhi,” said an air traffic control official requesting anonymity.
The main runway is shut for eight hours from 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Sundays, since November 1. A Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson said that it would not affect their deadline for completing repairs, which is scheduled to end by June 30.