Fliers to spend less time in planes at Mumbai airport as taxiing time before take-off to reduce | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Fliers to spend less time in planes at Mumbai airport as taxiing time before take-off to reduce

To ensure smoother, quicker operations, the airport operator has altered the angle of one of its taxiways to allow pilots to take off faster

mumbai Updated: Aug 10, 2017 10:22 IST
Neha LM Tripathi

By next week, passengers flying out of Mumbai airport are likely to spend less time in the aircraft before take-off.

This is because the airport operator and the Mumbai Air Traffic Control (ATC) have altered the angle of a taxiway for faster take-offs. The change is expected to save five seconds per flight. Mumbai airport, already saturated, sees 48 flights take-off and land every hour.

The change will also ensure smoother, quicker operations by the airport operator Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) and its stakeholder. Once the taxiway is operational, a study will be conducted to check if hourly flight movements have increased.

Sources said the taxiway had a 90-degree angle, which was changed to a 135-degree angle.

“The altering of the taxiway is done. We are waiting for approvals from the authority after which we will start using it,” said an MIAL official.

READ: With 1 flight in every 65 seconds, Mumbai busiest single-runway airport

MIAL has not decided for how long they will conduct the study, but said they would seek feedback from pilots for a few months.

According to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), an aircraft must vacate a runway in 55 seconds so another can line up for take-off.

“The taxiway currently has a 90-degree turn, which forces pilots to take more time to make a turn and slowly line up for take-off. The angle of the taxiway has now been altered to 135 degrees. This will make easier for pilots to manoeuvre flights and reduce the take-off time,” said an Air Traffic Control official.

The official said the airport handles 900 flights a day on average. When conditions are ideal, the maximum flights the runway can handle is 978 flights.

There is an aircraft movement (landing or take-off) every 65 seconds at the airport. Mumbai airport beat UK’s Gatwick as it handled 45.2 million passengers using a single runway in the financial year ending in March. In May, it touched 55 flight movements an hour.

“At Mumbai airport, there are approvals for 45 slots in an hour, but we handle up to 48 operations. By altering the angle, we expect every aircraft to save around five seconds. This will be analysed,” said an AAI official. The official said while the study would be conducted by the airport operator, it would be implemented only after AAI approves the results.