Mumbai: More than 2,000 flight operations will be hit at the city airport as both the main as well as secondary runways of the CSIA are shut for five hours for nine days beginning Monday through November 28 for surface repairs.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) said they will be closing down the only main runway (No 09/27) as well the as the secondary runway (No 14/32) for five hours on October 31, November 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24 and 28, which is likely to affect as many as 2,100 flights. The runways will be shut from the peak 1200 hrs to 1700 hrs, the airport added.
"On an average there are 45 air traffic movements an hour. So a five-hour shutdown means 225 movements could be hit," the airport operator Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) told PTI on Monday.
None of the airlines responded to queries from PTI on the impact on their operations. Ironically, despite being the nation's second busiest airport, the Mumbai airport has only one main runway (as one-third of the airport land is occupied by slum squatters who are refusing to move out into newly built apartments) and yet manages around 50 flights during peak hours, making it one of the most efficient airports in the world.
In November 2010 also, the airport operated by the GVK Group, had conducted similar repair work, months after it opened the spanking new terminal-T2 in February of that year.
Operations were partly hit between October 18 and 31 for four hours between 1200 and 1600 for seven days on alternate days, as the main runway was closed for surface repair. But it keep the secondary runway (14/32) open during these hours, a MIAL official had told PTI earlier.
But beginning on Monday and running through November 28, on specified days operations would be completely shut for five hours from 1200 to 1700 hrs in the second phase of repair work, an airport official said, adding this is needed as the repair work involves inter-section work.
In total the airport will be shut during these hours for nine days, while in the first phase the main runway was partially shuttered for seven days between October 18 and 30, the official added.
On an average, the city airport handles over 800 flights a day. Against this the Delhi airport, with three runways, handles around 78 flights during peak hours. "The runways--09/27 main and 14/32 secondary--will remain closed between 1200 hrs and 1700 hrs on Mondays and Thursdays till November 28, to conduct 'preventive runway surface work', a technology to fill in gaps on the runway," the airport had said last month advising airlines to reschedule their operations.
To avert inordinate delays, airlines made alternative schedules and also some of them like Indigo has waived cancellation and charges for flights affected by the closure, while Jet Airways is offering re-accommodation on alternate flights wherever necessary.