Runway closure, fog keeps Mumbai airport choked with air traffic

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 - 8:14am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The city airport continues to remain choked with air traffic during peak hours, the latest punctuality report prepared by the civil aviation ministry has revealed. The closure of primary runway for a fixed numbers of hours every day and poor visibility due to fog in North India in December has worsened the situation.

The ministry has said that as many as 405 IndiGo flights were delayed last month due to several factors, including air traffic congestion, medical emergencies, technical problems and fog.

Similarly, the figure for Spicejet stood at 321 arrival delays during the same period.

GoAir, Air India and Jet Airways/Jetlite were also affected, with the airlines seeing 390, 696 and 588 flights getting delayed in arriving in the city, respectively, according to the figures.

Departing flights too got delayed, with IndiGo airline leading the pack with 699 delays, followed by Air India with 645 and Jet Airways/Jetlite with 566. GoAir and Spicejet saw 361 and 338 departure delays, respectively. “The delays will reduce once the weather improves and the taxiway improvement work is completed by May,” said an Airports Authority of India official.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is considered amongst the busiest airports in Asia, with a capacity to fly more than 40 million passengers every year once the much-awaited Terminal 2 opens next month. Currently, around 34 million passengers are said to travel through the airport every year.

Officials said once the taxiway work gets completed, the peak hour capacity is expected to increase from 42 flights per hour to 50 flights.

Arrival delays
405 flights of IndiGo
321 flights of Spicejet
390 flights of GoAir
696 flights of Air India
588 flights of Jet Airways/Jetlite

Departure delays
699 flights of IndiGo
645 flights of Air India
566 flights of Jet Airways/Jetlite
361 flights of GoAir
338 flights of Spicejet.

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