Mumbai airport’s main runway shut, may take 48 hrs to restart ops
Mumbai airport authorities on Tuesday said that it may take up to 48 hours to resume the flight operations on the main runway after it was forced to close down late last night when a SpiceJet flight overshot its mark while landing amid heavy downpour. The authorities also advised the passengers to check with the airlines first before heading to the airport.
A 150-metre-ramp is being prepared to help move the SpiceJet plane from Jaipur which is still stuck on the unpaved part towards the end of the main runway number 27 of the Mumbai airport. An Air India disable aircraft removal kit has been mobilised.
Meanwhile, a secondary runway is operational, but flights have been delayed. A spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd said 54 flights have been diverted to other cities from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
Flights have also been delayed and according to Flightradar24, an online portal to monitor real-time flight movements on map, 85 flights to and from Mumbai have been cancelled due to the poor air traffic situation.
“The situation of aircraft movements will gradually improve, once the stuck SpiceJet aircraft is taken out of the muddy area,” said an airport official.
Airport officials are waiting for the disabled aircraft recovery kit (DARK) to remove the stuck aircraft, which is only available with Air India and is yet to reach Mumbai from Mangalore.
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Flightradar24 said departure flights are delayed by an average of 132 minutes, leading to the cancellation of 51 departing flights. It added that there was a delay of 102 minutes in arrival and 34 flights to Mumbai were cancelled after midnight.
Several airlines, including SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air Vistara, have posted messages on social media warning people of cancellation and delays.
Few flights departing from Mumbai that were cancelled include SG 152 to Delhi, SG 704 to Varanasi, Vistara Airlines UK 970 to Delhi, IndiGo’s 6e 366 to Hyderabad, Go Air’s G8 2603 and G8 2504 to Ahmedabad and G8 141 and 371 to Goa.
GoAir’s G8 381 from Goa, Air India’s AI 569 from Chennai, AI 628 from Nagpur, AI 865 from Delhi and 675 Kolkata, IndiGo’s 6E 5334 from Bengaluru and 6E 2225 from Delhi, Vistara’s UK 874 from Hyderabad, UK 852 from Bengaluru, UK 822 from Chennai and UK 772 from Kolkata were also cancelled.
In a similar incident in September 2017, a SpiceJet aircraft overshot the main runway while landing and was stuck in the mud leading to the suspension of flight operations at the Mumbai airport.
At least 13 people died in Mumbai amid overnight rains, forcing authorities to declare a public holiday amid forecast of more showers. According to Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials, 13 people died after a wall collapsed on a few hutments built on a hill slope in Kurar village at Malad East.
Heavy rainfall is expected in Mumbai and neighbouring cities between July 3 and July 5.