The city airport’s main runway will be shut for three hours on Thursday for the relocation of a glide path antenna that assists pilots in landing, especially in case of low visibility.
Air traffic control officials on Wednesday issued a notice to airmen stating the closure would be from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Airport officials said the secondary runway, shut since
October 10 due to construction of an adjoining taxiway, would be made available for flight operations during these hours. “The glide path antenna is being relocated, since the main runway was widened earlier this year,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson.
Airport officials said delays are unlikely since flight movement is less during the afternoons. However, a drop in runway visibility could result in chaos, as the secondary runway is not equipped with the required ground infrastructure.
“It could take up to 30 minutes to prepare the main runway for flight movements in case of an emergency,” said a senior ATC official.
Tailwinds (winds blowing towards the tail of an aircraft) have been a disturbance for flights on the secondary runway. “Even 10 minutes of intense tailwinds could lead to chaos,” said an official from the airport’s weather office.