Near-saturated Mumbai airport to seek help from consultants to increase capacity

The number of passengers at Mumbai airport is estimated to touch 48.3 million between April 2017 and March 2018

mumbai Updated: Mar 07, 2018 09:29 IST
The Mumbai airport had initially sought help from NATS, a UK-based air traffic control service, to help the airport increase its efficiency.(Hindustan Times)

In an attempt to increase the capacity of the Mumbai airport authorities are planning to seek help from aviation consultants.

Two consultancies are being considered by Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL), the airport’s operator, and the deal will be finalised within a month. The consultancy will help the airport operator to improve efficiency, so that more flights can be added.

The number of passengers at Mumbai airport is estimated to touch 48.3 million between April 2017 and March 2018. The numbers touched 47.2 million in 2017, after an annual growth of six per cent.

Sydney-based aviation think-tank, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), in their report released on September 12, said that the Mumbai airport has reached 94% of its maximum passenger-handling capacity, and will reach 100% by 2018. The airport currently handles an average of 930 flight operations a day. The airport is also constrained by the fact that it has cross runways, which means only one can be used at any time.

Rajeev Jain, chief executive officer of MIAL, said, “Our ultimate aim is to reach 60 million passengers per year. We will be finalising on the consultancy within a month, and thereafter begin to work towards increasing airport efficiency.”

The Mumbai airport had initially sought help from NATS, a UK-based air traffic control service, to help the airport increase its efficiency. Efforts to improve flight movements are already in place. The new traffic management system has ensured that the time taken by an aircraft to vacate the runway, now takes 49 seconds (plus or minus four) instead of the earlier sixty seconds. Jain said that they have approached NATS again, as well as a German consultancy company.

Mumbai main runway 09-27 has a declared passenger capacity handling of 46 flight operations per hour. However, the secondary runway has a capacity of only 35 flight movements per hour. Jain, while interacting with media, said that with the consultancy in place, MIAL aims to not only increase the airport capacity but also the on time performance (OTP) of airlines at the airport. Till the airport at Navi Mumbai, where land levelling work has started, is operational, the only way Mumbai can add capacity is by improving efficiency.

BOX:

Airports Council International (ACI) on Tuesday rated CSIA the world’s best airport for customer experience at the airport service quality (ASQ) Awards 2017.

As part of the ACI’s worldwide programme, passengers were surveyed across international airports for their feedback on 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants.

“Selected by millions of passengers in a survey carried out by ACI, the trade association of 1953 member airports across 176 countries, the award reflects Mumbai airport’s excellence in service parameters that go towards satisfying the needs of travellers,” said MIAL spokesperson.

Dr. GVK Reddy, founder and chairman, GVK, said, “In 2007, when we had taken over the complete operations of the airport, the ASQ score was 3.53 and in ten years we have got it to hover around 4.99 out of a maximum 5. It is a testimony to the quality service provided during 2017 to over forty six million travellers by the thirty thousand odd airport community members comprising the CISF, customs, immigration teams, airline staff, f&b and retail teams, the housekeeping and maintenance units.”

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 09:29 IST