Mumbai airport delays reduce after landings increased by 3 flights per hour
Distance maintained between two aircraft for manual landing has been reduced from 6.5 miles to 6 milesUpdated: May 24, 2018 11:07 IST
Even as flights continue to be delayed at the Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) owing to upgradation of the Instrument Landing System (ILS), the delays in arrivals and departures have reduced drastically.
A primary reason for this is that the distance between two aircraft for manual landing has been reduced from 6.5 miles to 6 miles. This has increased the number of aircraft being operated from 40 to 43-44 per hour. The spacing between two aircrafts when the ILS is in operation is 5.5 miles. “Currently, we are saving 20 seconds after the landing of each every craft, which is allowing the controllers to adjust three to four more aircraft every hour, thus reducing delay time,” said a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official.
As the ILS is being upgraded, operations at the airport are currently taking place through a VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) approach, an instrument which is located to the south of the epicentre of the two runways. An aircraft approaching the runway of the city airport tunes into to the VOR and follows its path.
A senior airport official said, “Due to increased familiarity of pilots and controllers with VOR approach, the airport is now seeing additional movement of three aircraft per hour.”
Airport officials said that efforts are being made so that least inconvenience is caused to passengers. Officials explained that both the airlines and airport officials are slotting flights according to the situation at the airport.
Airport officials said that utilsation of the air traffic flow management (ATFM) system, to handle the arriving flights, and airport collaborative decision making (ACDM) system is helping to slot flights on an hourly basis. “After studying situation at the airport, the system releases a schedule having flights slotted every hour. This schedule is updated even during the day,” said a Delhi-based AAI official.
A senior pilot, who landed in the city on Tuesday night, said, “Delays are lower during the day as compared to nights. I had to hold for nearly 45 minutes to land.”
Vipul Saxena, former Indian Air Force pilot and aviation expert, said: “With the new traffic arrangement, the number of hourly operations is now close to its capability, which is an example of high professional standards.”