Sahar residents protest against safety lapses at city airport | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sahar residents protest against safety lapses at city airport

mumbai Updated: Jun 12, 2010 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

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


n May 27: A Jetlite flight from Kolkata 700 feet from touchdown was made to abort landing because an Indigo flight was stuck on the same runway.
n June 9: A Blue Dart cargo flight damaged 20 runway lights and exposed several flights to land on the runway with glass shards scattered all over.
n June 9: A private jet owned by Bellary Iron Ore Pvt Ltd dangerously plunged 1,000 feet about seven nautical miles from touchdown.
750 movements every day but their manpower is still the same,” said social activist Nicholas Almeida, who led the protest. Currently, the city airport is short of more than 100 ATC officials.

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.