Monday, October 16, 2017

Mumbai airport in need of urgent attention: Experts

Mumbai: Mumbai’s airport, India’s second-busiest after Delhi, needs urgent attention as it is reaching the saturation point at a time when air traffic in the country is growing at the quickest pace in the world, aviation industry executives and experts said.

With record rains that pounded the city this year, it has been particularly harrowing for airlines with frequent shutdowns of the airport causing huge delays. Just about 60% of flights could take off or land on time in August — in fact, airlines have recorded a steady fall in monthly on-time performance at the airport since the beginning of the financial year in April. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has yet to release the numbers for September, the month that recorded the strongest spates of rain and thundershowers throwing flight schedules at the airport awry.

In the past one month, the airport has also seen an aircraft getting stuck on the side of the runway. Pilots and airline executives complain also about potholes in the taxiway.

“It’s a nightmare to fly in and out of Mumbai now,” said a senior executive at a full-service Indian carrier. “And it’s getting worse every single day. Now it has come to a situation wherein you can operate a flight remotely on time only during absolutely perfect weather. Otherwise, not a chance.”
16/10/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

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