Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Record flier traffic strains Mumbai airport, stretches staff

Mumbai: The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport registered passenger traffic of 2.15 million last month, the highest monthly figure logged by an Indian airport.
MG Jhungare, aerodrome general manager, said there has been a 10 per cent increase in air traffic movements (ATM) from last year. “In 2005, daily ATM was 550, which has gone up to about 600 a day,” he said.
Infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth in passenger volume. In fact, of the Rs220 a passenger pays as service fee, Rs140 is taken by the Central Industrial Security Force and only Rs60 is disbursed to Mumbai International Airport Limited, the company that runs the airport. That, officials say, is grossly insufficient given the scale of the required infrastructure growth.
ATC sources said fresh recruitment of personnel is long overdue. As it takes a year to train fresh recruits, authorities were planning to draft professionals from other airports to contend with the rising ATM. But ATC personnel from other states are wary of Mumbai because of its workload.
24/01/07 Manisha Singhal/Megha Chaturvedi/Daily News & Analysis
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