Hundreds of locals from Sahar in Andheri came out on the streets on Friday to protest against safety lapses at the airport that put lives of thousands of travellers at risk.
Protestors, carrying garlands and binoculars, poked fun at the airport management because the country’s second busiest airport witnessed four cases of near air disasters in less than a month following the Mangalore crash that killed 158 people.
“Until 2006 the air traffic controllers (ATC) handled 350 movements (take-offs and landings). Today, that has jumped to
Protestors, who reside in the vicinity of the airport, also demanded that the number of flights per hour be curtailed to 30 from 35 to ensure safe operations.
“The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) cannot wash its hands off safety lapses by blaming the ATC alone. We will drag the airport operator to court if our demands are not met,” said Almeida.
The demonstrators alleged that the private consortium that took over the airport in 2006 is interested in commercial gains instead of upgrading the airfield infrastructure.
Despite recommendation from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the airport has not installed the surface movement radar. Despite acquiring the crucial air navigation device that eases the co-ordination of air-ground traffic will not be installed before October.
The MIAL spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.