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Expect more delays at Mumbai airport

Come October, flying in and out of Mumbai will not be a cakewalk for the next two years. Modernisation work at the airport will affect the normal operation of flights, reports Soubhik Mitra.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2008 01:09 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Come October, flying in and out of Mumbai will not be a cakewalk for the next two years. Modernisation work at the airport — including the construction of a parallel taxiway and a rapid exit taxiway — will affect the normal operation of flights, warned officials at the Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Along with constructing the two taxiways, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) is trying to enhance the efficiency of the cross runway ‘14/32’ in three phases.

“Operations wouldn’t have been affected at all if we had parallel runways like in Delhi. In Mumbai, both the runways intersect each other,” said a senior ATC official. However, there is little option as bad weather worsened the condition of the deteriorating runway. Recently, MIAL had asked ATC to caution pilots to be extra careful while landing in Mumbai.

Luckily for the airport operator, there is a slowdown in passenger traffic in recent times, thanks to soaring ticket prices and airlines cutting down on flights. “A reduction in flights would definitely help ease the pressure,” added the ATC official.

“We are trying to work out a plan that will have minimal impact on runway operations. Carrying on work at night is an option,” said an MIAL spokesperson. The plan would be implemented only after an approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.