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Flying before June 5? Expect delays at Mumbai airport during peak hours

The aviation aid, called Instrument Landing System, is being upgraded, for which the work started on Thursday and will continue till June 5

mumbai Updated: May 19, 2018 12:32 IST
Neha M Tripathi
Neha M Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai airport,ILS
ILS will be out of service from 11am to 11pm.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Flying to and from the Mumbai airport? Brace for delays during peak hours as the system that guides landing of flights will be out of service till June 5.

The aviation aid, called Instrument Landing System (ILS), is being upgraded, for which the work started on Thursday and will continue till June 5. It will be out of service from 11am to 11pm.

The minimum visibility required to land at Mumbai airport is as low as 800 metres. An airport official explained that owing to the absence of ILS, minimum visibility required for carrying out operations from the main runway is 2,400 metres.

“If the visibility drops below 2,400 metres, the flight operation will be switched to the secondary runway 14,” said the official.

The secondary runway is shorter, and hence can handle fewer flights.

“If the visibility further drops to 1,200 metres, which is the minimum requirement for the secondary runway, the airport will have to be closed. However, according to the meteorological department, chances of poor visibility are less in these 20 days,” added the official.

Another official said delays will also depend on non-scheduled flight movements.

An official claimed that the unavailability of ILS may not severely affect flight operations. However, the airport saw air traffic congestion on Thursday and Friday. Passengers who plan to fly from the Mumbai airport before June 5 are a worried lot.

Pranali Sahasrabudhe, a Vile Parle resident, said, “I am going on a short vacation to Ooty and have a flight on May 31. As my mother and I are travelling to the place for the first time, we wanted to reach our hotel before sunset, and hence we booked an afternoon flight. However, if such delays continue, we will not be able to reach our destination on time and fly back to Mumbai on June 3.”

Another passenger, Aishwarya Mohanty, a Navi Mumbai resident, fears that the flight delays may upstage her return schedule. “On May 24, I am flying to Chennai to attend a function, followed by a wedding. If there are flight delays, my aim to fly to Chennai will be of no use,” said Mohanty.

Neha Katdare, an Andheri resident, said she is flying to Mumbai for the weekend only to meet her brother. “I fear that such delays will make me spend much of my time only in travelling.”

First Published: May 19, 2018 11:34 IST