The five-month-long Tuesday repairs on Mumbai airport’s primary runway, that often left passengers stranded, ended on Tuesday.
The runway repairs, which had led to a six-hour partial closure of the tarmac for 22 consecutive Tuesdays starting October 27, ended on schedule.
More than 100 flights, which were taken off the schedule because of the partial runway closure on Tuesdays, will be back from next week.
It took 61 engineers and 500 field workers to redo the surface of the 54,000-sqm wide stretch where the main runway and the cross runway intersect.
“Reconstruction of the runway intersection was a complex project that required detailed planning and coordination among various agencies,” Sanjay Reddy, managing director, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
Apart from the intersection patch, the airport operator also relaid the junction of taxiway E and a portion of the main runway. Also, a new duct bank and conduit has been laid to provide ground lighting to the airfield. The critical repair project began on October 27 and was marred by several near-mishaps. Three near mishaps involving four airlines took place on the first three Tuesdays forcing the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ((DGCA) to frame restrictions on flight movement on the curtailed runway.
On November 3, a GoAir pilot aborted landing twice as he failed to adjust to the shortened runway and an Air India flights damaged its taillights after landing.
On November 10, a Kingfisher flight skidded off the runway and its wheels caught fire because the pilot misjudged the touchdown. As a result, only senior pilots and narrow-bodied aircraft were allowed to operate on the shortened runway, which prompted airlines to cancel or reschedule flights.
The airport operated 1,353 flights during the partial closures over five months. Flights delays will continue until the reconstruction of the secondary runway is over which is scheduled to be completed by April 8.