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Tech upgrade delays 70% flights at Mumbai airport

The 12-hour upgradation, from 11 am to 11 pm, began on Thursday and will go on till June 5

india Updated: May 18, 2018 23:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai Airport,CSIA,CSI Airport
Smoggy weather at Mumbai airport in Mumbai, India, on Friday, February 2, 2018.(HT File Photo)

At least 70% of the several hundred flights that fly in and out of the Mumbai airport every day were delayed on Friday, as the airport upgrades its Instrument Landing System (ILS) that guides flights.

The Mumbai airport handles 945 flight movements daily, and 45 flight movements an hour. Usually, flights take off and land on the main runway 27, but owing to the 12-hour system upgrade, airlines are using the secondary runway which has a lower capacity. Further, the minimum visibility pilots need to land at the Mumbai airport with the ILS is as low as 800 metres, but without it, they need a visibility of 2,400 metres. This essentially means pilots have to rely on an older navigation system to take off and land, and as a result, airlines and passengers reported delays of up to an hour all through Friday.

The 12-hour upgradation, from 11 am to 11 pm, began on Thursday and will go on till June 5. An official from the Mumbai International Airport Limited said. Several airlines, including Jet Airways and Air Vistara , posted messages on social media informing passengers of the delay.

However, airport officials said that work on the ILS was on, but added that the delay on Friday morning was because of changing wind speeds and directions, and not the technical upgradation. MIAL said while one flight had to be cancelled, no flight was diverted or asked to go-around.

“Passengers can expect delay of around 30 minutes until the ILS is upgraded and made available. A new localiser will be placed with more antennas than the current one that has 14. This will help in more precision to the flight movements,” explained a senior airport official.

First Published: May 18, 2018 23:13 IST