More flights, lower fares likely for city fliers | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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More flights, lower fares likely for city fliers

mumbai Updated: Jul 23, 2011 01:32 IST
Soubhik Mitra

There’s good news for fliers from the city as the number of flights to and from Mumbai could go up in the next three months, resulting in cheaper fares.

The civil aviation ministry, on Thursday, agreed to implement the recommendations of the NATS report, which says that flight-handling capacity of the Mumbai airport can be increased by 60%. According to the report, the airport can handle 48 flight movements (take-offs and landings) in an hour. At present, the Mumbai airport manages 30 flight movements per hour.

NATS, a UK-based aviation consultancy agency, was hired by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) in January to suggest ways to increase flight capacity at the land-locked airport.

Aviation ministry officials told HT that the air traffic control (ATC), airlines and airport staff would be trained to implement the recommendations.

“This could take up to three months,” said Alok Sinha, joint secretary, civil aviation ministry.

The process would be time-consuming as it involves coordination with several agencies.

“Frequent consultations with airlines, several checks by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and stimulator training for ATCs will be required,” said Sinha.

Other suggestions made in the report are reducing distance between two flights from seven nautical miles to three nautical miles, asking ATC to reduce the time taken by pilots to vacate the runway and most importantly use only the main runway. The use of both runways results in slow flight movement as the strips intersect each other.