Weekend woes: 457 flights delayed at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Flight operations were switched to the secondary runway for three hours, owing to ground testing that was being conducted on the main runway.mumbai Updated: May 27, 2018 00:13 IST
Around 325 flights were delayed on Saturday after flight operations at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) switched to the secondary runway for three hours, owing to ground testing that was being conducted on the main runway.
The testing was being carried out to check the Instrument Landing System (ILS), which is being upgraded to provide pilots landing at the airport with more precision. ILS is a standard International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) precision landing aid, used to provide guidance to aircrafts to land on the runway under normal or adverse weather conditions.
The results of the ground testing, conducted from 2pm to 5pm, were ‘good’, said a senior airport official. “The components tested today responded well and have shown good results. Some of the testing is yet to be completed and will be resumed on Sunday afternoon,” said an airport official.
On Sunday, the main runway will be shut from 11am to 5pm for routine maintenance.
“Testings performed by the calibrated flight, which is equipped with special instruments for testing the upgraded components of ILS, will be considered to be the final one. This flight belongs to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and is expected to land in the city on Wednesday,” the official added.
Flight operations, however, slowed down on Saturday when flight movements were being carried out from the secondary runway 14-32. The secondary runway has a smaller capacity to handle flight movements, compared to the main runway 9-27. While the latter can handle around 48 flights per hour, the former can accommodate around 35 per hour.
The main runway was made operational at 5.06pm, following which air congestion increased. As a result, departing flights were delayed by an hour or so, affecting 86% of the flights. Meanwhile, 15% of the arriving flights also faced delays.