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Secondary runway not fit to handle landings

Mumbai airport’s secondary runway is still not fit to handle incoming flights, reports Soubhik Mitra.

mumbai Updated: Apr 17, 2010 01:04 IST
Soubhik Mitra
Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times

Mumbai airport’s secondary runway is still not fit to handle incoming flights.

On Friday, the airport missed the deadline to make it compliant for landings.

“A team from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will visit the airport on April 20, to conduct flight trials to test calibrations. Landings will start after the DGCA clearance,” said the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson.

The aviation regulator was not satisfied with the secondary runway’s ground infrastructure after it reopened last week. The runway, which has the capacity to handle 150 departures daily, was shut for repairs since last October.

“We are expecting a report from the Airport Authority of India by tomorrow,” said Nasim Zaidi, DGCA chief.

DGCA officials had found that the antenna on the secondary runway used by pilots to get the correct angle for landing was inaccurate.

A pilot uses the navigational device to land during low visibility when the aircraft requires assistance from the Instrument Landing System (ILS) for touchdown.

As a result, the runway has been of no use in cutting down circling time above the airport.

“We were hoping that the refurbished runway would help in cutting the pressure on runway 27 (the main runway),” said an air traffic control (ATC) official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media.

The runway has the potential to cut down hovering time by 10 minutes.

The runway was scheduled to be ready for operations three month ago but it missed the deadline thrice. Runway workers first missed the deadline of January 31, because they did not have a blueprint of the underground cable network.

First Published: Apr 17, 2010 01:03 IST