Fliers stuck for 3 hrs at airport
Bidisha Basu missed her semester examination of her nursing course on Tuesday because her GoAir flight to Chandigarh was stuck at the Mumbai airport for nearly three hours.Updated: Jun 09, 2010 00:47 IST
Bidisha Basu missed her semester examination of her nursing course on Tuesday because her GoAir flight to Chandigarh was stuck at the Mumbai airport for nearly three hours.
Several flights such as Basu’s were held up at Mumbai because the airport’s main runway was shut from 6 am to 11.30 am for pre-monsoon inspection.
“I was sitting in the aircraft for more than an hour. I have applied for a re-examination,” said Basu, 31, who is pursuing a course in nursing from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research i n Chandigarh.
Peak hour traffic had to jostle for space because only the secondary runway was available for use.
A Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson said morning flights were running at least 30 minutes behind schedule.
“We have issued a Notam (notice to airmen) about the closure. Airlines and the air traffic controllers were aware of the closure,” said the spokesperson.
The airport staff identified areas of the runway that need repairs and tested other crucial tarmac infrastructure such as runway light circuits during the runway closure.
Landing on a wet runway is risky because inadequate friction slows aircraft braking.
On a day when it’s pouring, low visibility and rubbers deposits make landing more risky. According to a circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) last month, aircraft accidents are common every monsoon despite their predicted regularity.
Air safety experts feel that runways in India need technology such as the Engineer Material Arresting System (EMAS) used aboard.
“The technology comprises the use of crushed concrete to hold flights that might overshoot the runway because of weak braking,” said a Boeing commander with a private airline requesting anonymity as he not authorised to talk to the media.
The Federal Aviation Administration, the US aviation regulator adopted EMAS two years back.
First Published: Jun 09, 2010 00:46 IST