Airport prepared to handle delays
The city’s airport seemed better prepared to handle airline traffic on the second Tuesday of the 22-week-long main runway repair exercise.mumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2009 00:35 IST
The city’s airport seemed better prepared to handle airline traffic on the second Tuesday of the 22-week-long main runway repair exercise.
In an improvement over last week, this Tuesday, the airport accommodated 82 take offs and landings during the six-hour partial shutdown of the main runway. Last Tuesday, which was the first day when the six-hour partial shutdown for repairs was implemented, only 73 flights had taken off or landed.
There was, however, little difference in flight delays with most departures running 35-40 minutes behind schedule. Taxiing time has increased dramatically especially for aircraft parked in remote bays since many taxiways are shut for repairs. Thus, took longer to reach the runway.
This Tuesday, the shortened runway was ready for operations at 12:55 pm – a 40-minute improvement over last week. The entire runway was completely shut at 5:04 pm and full runway operations resumed an hour later.
“There was a noticeable improvement in the pace of repair work compared to last week,” said a directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) official inspecting the massive maintenance work.
“Aircraft movement is very slow because of massive repair works on the airfield. It is difficult to adhere to the DGCA directive to cut down delays,” contended an Air Traffic Control (ATC) official.
The airport’s main runway normally handles about 650 takes offs and landings daily. “The re-laid runway will be able to handle wear and tear for at least 10 years after the completion of the runway revamp in March,” said the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the DGCA also inspected the safety of the landing procedures on the shortened runway. “The DGCA has certified both the procedures and they would be put to use from next week,” said MG Jhungare, ATC general manager (western region).