The angle of a taxiway at Mumbai airport has been altered from 90-degrees to 135-degrees by the airport operator and the Mumbai Air Traffic Control (ATC) in order to facilitate faster take-offs. This comes as good news for fliers as this particular change can save five seconds per flight.
According to Hindustan Times, 48 flights take-off and land every hour in the Mumbai airport, which handles 900 flights daily, which can go up to 978 if conditions are ideal. So there is one take-off or touch-down every 65 seconds from the main runway.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) says 55 seconds should be the ideal time limit for a plane to vacate the runway in order for another flight to line up for take-off. An Air Traffic Control official said altering the taxiway's angle from 90-degrees to 135-degrees has enabled easier manoeuvering of flights by pilots and reduced take-off time.
Studies are scheduled to be conducted to check if hourly flight movements have increased once the taxiway becomes operational. MIAL officials are currently awaiting authority's approval to use it. MIAL hasn't mentioned a time frame for the study but said they will ask pilots for feedback in a few months.
In terms of the number of passengers, Mumbai airport tops with 45.2 million people flying in and out in fiscal 2017 as against 44 million at Gatwick airport. Notably, no other large city in the world is served by one airport, that too with a single-runway. Besides, illegal squatters occupy nearly one-third of the airport land. The second airport proposed in Navi Mumbai is yet to come up.
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