NEW DELHI: With the Mumbai international airport close to its saturation point, the government wants immediate action on a plan to extend the Juhu airport runway 650 metres into the sea to ease congestion at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International (CSI) Airport.
The first of its kind project involves realigning and extending the main runway of the Juhu airport on stilts.
The aviation ministry has directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to appoint a consultant to carry out a study on the feasibility of the plan.
“The redevelopment of the Juhu airport would ease congestion at CSI considerably. The redeveloped Juhu airport can cater to private jet and small turboprop planes, which constitute around 15% of CSI’s total operations,” said a ministry official. Sources said the project cost would be around ` 2,000 crore.
Airlines have failed to get new peak hour slots at the CSI airport in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital. Work on the long-delayed second airport in Navi Mumbai will start only later this year.
Air India complained to the government recently after it failed to get slots for a flight between Mumbai an Db havn agar. The Juhu aerodrome is the busiest heliport in India and handles over 100 movements daily. “Once the runway at Juhu airport is parallel to main-runway at CSI, both airports can handle landings and take-off simultaneously. The Juhu airport would also continue to cater to helicopter operations,” he said.