Flying in or out of Mumbai? Be prepared for delays from tomorrow

The city airport handles 800 flights a day on an average
The Mumbai airport handles 800 flights a day on an average

Passengers flying in and out of the city should brace for delays from Tuesday till the end of November, as the only runway of the nation’s second busiest airport will be shut for five hours for repair work.

Previously, the airport, operated by the GVK Group, was shut for similar repair work in November 2010. Months after the swanky new terminal T2 over Rs 12,000 crore was opened in February.

Operations will be partly hit between October 18 and 31 for four hours between 12 pm and 4 pm for seven days on alternate days, as the main runway (Runway No 09-27) will be closed for surface repair. The secondary runway (14-32) will be open during these hours, a MIAL official said.

In the second phase beginning October 31, till November 28, operations will be completely shut for five hours from 12 pm to 5 pm as both runways will be closed, the official said, adding that this is needed as the repairs involve inter-section work.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has only one runway (as one-third of its land is occupied by slum squatters), yet it manages around 50 flights during peak hours, making it one of the most efficient airports in the world in terms of aircraft handling.

“The runways will remain closed between 12 pm and 5 pm on Mondays and Thursdays till November 28 to conduct ‘preventive runway surface work’, a technology to fill in gaps on them,” MIAL had said last month, advising airlines to reschedule their operations.

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