‘Mumbai airport can’t take more’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘Mumbai airport can’t take more’

delhi Updated: Jul 02, 2010 23:36 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times
Mumbai airport

Mumbai airport has reached a saturation point and the Ministry of Civil Aviation is seriously considering not to give permission for any new flights to and from that airport.

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel stated this here on Friday. “How do we allow flights when there is no space, both on the air and the ground? That is the problem with the Mumbai airport. The Ministry soon might not allow any new flights. There is only one runway. We are already reviewing the matter,” Patel said.

“Around 16-hours-a-day, there is absolutely no space. Another 2-3 hours are needed for maintenance,” he added.

“They all will move. Don’t they know their business,” Patel said when asked whether he expected other airlines to follow in the footsteps of Air India, which has taken a decision to make Delhi its primary hub.

Asked whether his Ministry, as reported by Hindustan Times, would hand over the Bilaspur airport to the Army, Patel said, “If they want, we will be only happy to give it to them. Why should we have a problem?”

Patel, who is leaving for South Africa on July 6 for the

semi-finals and final of the FIFA world cup (he is the president of the All-India Football Federation), said India was open to reviewing it’s policy to consider allowing overseas airlines to own stakes in local carriers.

He said the new integrated terminal at the Delhi airport provided a chance to Indian carriers to become ‘big and strong’ by encashing on the “hub” as airlines world over have done.

Adding he was ready for criticism, Patel said, “I haven’t seen such kind of infrastructure (T3) come-up in such time frame except for the Delhi Metro. However, if you do something, criticism will also be there. After 15 days, there will be reports that the escalator is not working, water is leaking but I am ready for it.”