The Mumbai airport operator has hired NATS Ltd, UK’s main air traffic management service provider, to study ways to increase the city airport’s flight handling capacity. The report will be filed by April.
NATS won the project mainly as it successfully turned around Gatwick, London’s second busiest airport’s capacity despite the infrastructure constraints identical to Mumbai’s.
“NATS will conduct a comprehensive study to enhance capacity and assist in executing the recommendations,” said a MIAL spokesperson. In addition to Gatwick, NATS also offers services to top-notch British airports like Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
MIAL officials said NATS will utilise a combination of software simulations and modelling tools to improve the airport’s capacity. “This would comprise identifying bottlenecks limiting flight movement, upgrading air traffic handling procedures and making physical changes in airfield infrastructure like adding rapid exit taxiways and better air traffic control (ATC) equipment,” the MIAL spokesperson said.
Last July, a delegation comprising Airport Authority of India and MIAL officials visited Gatwick airport to get a first-hand experience of air traffic management.
The NATS team would be holding back-to-back meetings with pilots, the DGCA, AAI and civil aviation ministry officials.