After nearly eliminating departure delays, the Mumbai airport has developed a plan to curb arrival delays during peak hours.
On Wednesday, the Mumbai air traffic control office (ATC) submitted a proposal asking the civil aviation ministry to deny departure clearance to delayed city-bound flights that will reach here during peak arrival period — 9.30 pm to 11 pm.
For instance, if a Mumbai-bound flight is scheduled to take off from Delhi at 7.30 pm, it is expected to reach Mumbai at 9.30 pm. But if its departure is delayed, it will add to the congestion of peak hour traffic at Mumbai airport. According to the proposal, the delayed flight should not be allowed to take off from the Delhi airport because it will affect peak hour arrival traffic here.
“We like the proposal in-principle because it has the potential to end arrival congestion at Mumbai immediately. We will examine it with ATC officials at other airports and issue a notice to airmen in the couple of days,” said Alok Sinha, joint secretary with the civil aviation ministry. Currently, there are 35 scheduled arrivals at the Mumbai airport between 9.30 pm and 11 pm.
“It will simultaneously end departure delays at other airports and improve the punctuality of arrivals to Mumbai,” said MG Jhunghare, general manager, ATC.
Already nine of 10 departures out of Mumbai are on time since the regulator began penalising airlines for delays. Before this rule came into effect on July 19, more than half the departures from 5.30 am to 9 am peak hour were delayed.