(Photo: ANI)
(Photo: ANI)

Mumbai airport main runway finally operational after 86 hours

  • The main runway at Mumbai airport handles up to 48 flights an hour
  • The SpiceJet aircraft overshot the runway after landing amid heavy rains, leaving the plane stuck partially between the main runway and the adjacent grass area

MUMBAI: The main runway at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which was closed since 1 July, is finally fully operational on Friday afternoon, after the airport authorities managed to clear an aircraft that had overshoot the runway, an airport spokesperson told Mint.

A SpiceJet aircraft flying between Jaipur and Mumbai had skidded off the main runway during landing at about 11.50 pm, on Monday night causing airport authorities to close down the runway and operate entire airport operations on the secondary runway.

The SpiceJet aircraft, carrying 167 passengers on board, overshot the runway after landing amid heavy rains, leaving the plane stuck partially between the main runway and the adjacent grass area, thus making it difficult to remove.

This led to a partial shutdown at the country's second busiest airport where airlines cancelled or diverted flights over 400 flights during the last three days.

"The SpiceJet aircraft has been cleared from the runway at 3.41 pm and subsequently the runway became fully operational, after we carried out calibration and lighting work, at 4.47 pm," the airport spokesperson said.

The aircraft was earlier on Thursday night pulled out of the runway surface but it was cleared off the runway only on Friday afternoon.

The main runway at Mumbai airport handles up to 48 flights an hour while the secondary runway handles up to 35 flights an hour.

On 2 July, India's aviation regulators, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued safety directions to airlines in the wake of multiple incidents of planes overshooting runways at various airports, including Mumbai, while operating amidst bad weather conditions.

Meanwhile, heavy rainfall and subsequent mishaps at Mumbai airport have hit over 400 flights during 2-3 July due to disruption in flight schedules, which have led to a rise in air fares, said Aloke Bajpai, chief executive and co-founder of online travel portal ixigo.

“Cancellation of flights has also triggered a rise in last-minute average fares by 35-40% on key routes to and from Mumbai. With disruptions expected to continue in the coming days, we have seen a 22% increase in passengers, rescheduling their Mumbai-bound flights to next week," Bajpai added.

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