Air passengers flying in and out of Mumbai can now look forward to fewer flight delays with the city airport's main runway being available for round-the-clock operations from Tuesday.
The airport operator completed the runway repairs on Monday evening, two days ahead of schedule. The airport's primary runway has been closed for operations for eight-hours (9am to 5 pm) every day since last October. This often led to flight delays as bulk of the flights had to jostle for space on the airport's smaller runway.
“I am glad that this complex project involving extensive planning and coordination among various agencies was completed well within the designated time frame,” said Sanjay Reddy, managing director, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
The reconstructed runway can now handle the world's biggest aircraft, the double-decker Airbus A380, as its width has increased by 15 metre.
Last year, MIAL had to frequently suspend runway operations because its surface had disintegrated owing to wear and tear. According to airport officials, the tarmac now won't need major repairs for at least another 10 years. Routine maintenance closures would, however, continue for two hours on every Saturday and Tuesday.
“Routine closures are essential for repainting the tarmac markings and removal of rubber deposits,” said a MIAL spokesperson.
Pilots will also find landing at the airport easier as the tarmac is now equipped with touchdown zone lights. Earlier, the view of the touchdown area was not so clear during low visibility.