Flyers had a rough day at Mumbai airport on Tuesday as flights arriving at and departing from the city were delayed by an hour because of operation glitch, bad weather and congestion due to the eight-hour closure of the main runway.
Delays have become routine since the airport operator shut the primary runway for repairs on November 1.
On Tuesday, trouble started when an Iran Air flight from Tehran blocked the runway for more time than usual after it landed under local standby situation, which is the second highest level of emergency for an approaching flight.
Poor visibility because of cloudy weather also slowed traffic leading to bunching of flights. To add to the mess, some Goa-bound flights had to be rescheduled because of bad weather there. “The average delay for arrivals and departures during the eight-hour closure of the main runway was 50 minutes,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson. The secondary runway handled 127 arrivals and 116 departures during the closure.
The situation is likely to get worse as winter sets in. Airport officials said that operations are likely to get chaotic on foggy days because the secondary runway is not equipped with ground aids such as the Instrument Landing System (ILS) that helps pilots land when visibility is low.