It's not just the Mumbai roads that are facing traffic jams, even the air above the metropolis is congested. And this is proving to be a recurring problem for authorities at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), as last month, 1,612 arriving and 1,722 departing flights were delayed.
CSIA is among the busiest airports in the continent with more than 32.22 million passengers travelling every year. And passenger capacity is expected to hit over 40 million annually once the development works here is completed. Though introduction of rapid exit taxiways and reduction in distance between aircraft is expected to ease the situation, airport capacity will reach the saturation point in the next few years, aviation experts warned.
According to ministry of civil aviation data, 283 arriving flights of Indigo Airlines were delayed. Spicejet, GoAir, Air India and Jet Airways/Jet lite airlines had 151, 283, 458, 437 of their arriving flights getting delayed, respectively. Similarly, 343 departing flights of Indigo were delayed. Spicejet, GoAir, Air India, Jet/Jetlite saw 224, 232, 373, 550 of their departing flights getting delayed, respectively.
Airport officials said congestion at CSIA was worse during the morning and evening peak hours, with planes made to hover around the airport for about 25 minutes before getting landing permission.