Pilot spots it just before take-off
Mumbai, Aug 12: After filling city roads with potholes, the heavy rains are now wreaking havoc on Mumbai airport’s runway. The main runway, 09-27, of the Mumbai airport had to be closed for some time on Monday afternoon after a pilot preparing for take-off reported that there was a pothole on the runway. The aircraft then waited on the runway for almost an hour until the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) repaired the pothole.
The pilot of an Ahmedabad-bound Jet Airways flight, 9W3415, was taxiing for take-off at 12.30 pm when he noticed something amiss and immediately got in touch with the Mumbai air traffic control (ATC).
A Jet Airways flight waits on the runway as MIAL authorities (circled) repair the pothole
The aircraft had to wait on the runway as the secondary runway was closed due to poor visibility.
“The flight had to wait for half an hour while the runway was being repaired,” confirmed a Jet Airways spokesperson.
Four other Mumbai-bound flights had to be diverted to Ahmedabad between 1 pm to 1.45 pm. Of these, two were Kingfisher flights while the other two were GoAir and Air India flights.
Following the pilot’s SOS, the ATC informed MIAL officials about the situation. “There was a total runway closure for 16 minutes. The secondary runway, 14-32, was operational from 1.40 pm as the visibility had improved, said an airport official. “The main runway was handed over to the ATC at 1.57 pm for maintenance work,” said the official.
“Aircraft have sensitive equipment and even the smallest of cracks are taken very seriously. Every Friday, MIAL carries out maintenance work of the runway, but we have not been able to do it. Such wear and tear could be because of the high density traffic. The spot where the debris was noticed has been patched up with bitumen,” said an MIAL spokesperson.