Friday, June 08, 2018

Turboprop flights at Mumbai airport to be cut to make way for more big plane operations

The government will dissuade airlines from deploying turboprops at the slot-constrained Mumbai airport so as to accommodate more category C (read ‘bigger’) aircraft like Boeing 737 or Airbus A-320s. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has asked Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) to prepare a list of flights where airlines operate turboprops like ATRs on routes to and from Mumbai though the other city can accommodate category C planes.
“In the time one slow-moving turboprop operates a flight in and out of CSIA, two B-737 or A-320 flights can operate... MIAL has been asked to identify such pairs by monthend and we will get the airlines to shift some of these flights to A-320 or B-737 so that a few slots can be freed up at CSIA,” said a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official.
AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra, the authority’s head of air traffic control AK Dutta and MIAL representatives brain-stormed on Tuesday—which saw CSIA handle a record 1,003 flights.
After the review, Mohapatra said: “It is time now to see how much more we can do in the next two to three years [till Navi Mumbai gets ready]. It is being identified what we, MIAL and other stakeholders have to do. We will again be meeting in the month-end. We are working out how steps taken by everyone can lead to increasing flight handling at CSIA in the safest manner.”
08/06/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India