Press Trust of India
Mumbai, May 31: Passengers arriving and departing from Mumbai airport now would not have to spend extra-time either on ground or in the air as the secondary runway (cross-runway) gets operational from tomorrow round-the-clock.
The cross-runway (14X32), is in operation for the last more than two years but it was being used only for a limited period--four hours in the morning and five in the evening--to handle peak-time traffic.
However, now it would be thrown open for traffic 24X7. The move is likely to reduce congestion by 10 minutes every hour.
Confirming that flight operations from the secondary runway would be round-the clock from Monday, Mumbai Air Traffic Control's Chief, M G Jhungare, said, "All arrivals will be from the main runway, 09X27, while domestic departures from both terminal IA and IB will be from the secondary runway, subject to the conditions."
The 24x7 operation would be subjected to visibility being a minimum of 3,000 metres. Terminal IA handles flights operated by Air India and private air-carrier Kingfisher. Terminal IB handles flights operations of Jet and JetLite, SpiceJet, Indigo and GoAir.
The decision to make round-the-clock use of the secondary runway came in the wake of a recent directive from regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), to Mumbai International Airport Limited authorities in this regard.
Mumbai Airport currently handles more than 650 arrivals and departures every day. Due to limited use of the secondary runway, the flights are often forced to make on an average a half-an-hour go-around over the skies.
The round-the-clock operation is also expected to increase the airport's flight handling capacity to 750 from the present 700. The traffic at Mumbai airport has nearly reached peak capacity.
A proposal to establish a new international airport in Navi Mumbai which has been approved by the government, is, however, expected to fructify only after sometime.