According to news reports, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai may soon be able to host 45 million passengers annually, five million more than the current projection. With the new integrated terminal coming up and enhancements made to the air side as well, the airport was supposed to cater to 40 million passengers every year by 2014-15.
Now, a multi-party committee set up by the airport is trying to ensure that the facility is able to meet the demands of the ever-increasing passenger traffic and stretch the handling capacity to 45 million passengers or more. The increased capacity will come as a breather to the airport, which faces saturation in the next three to four years.
With the Navi Mumbai airport project facing delay after delay, growth in passenger numbers in the city would be stalled once the main airport hits a saturation point. Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman, GVK Group, said that while catering to 40 million passengers was the original plan, efforts were on to expand the capacity.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Routes Asia Summit, Reddy said that a committee comprising airport, airlines, Airports Authority of India and Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials had been set up to reduce the Runway Occupancy Time (ROT) of aircraft and thereby facilitate more flight movement.
“We are monitoring every single landing and take-off at the airport,” Reddy said, adding that the ROT had already been reduced from 60 seconds per aircraft to 52 seconds. Re-location of certain taxiways will also help achieve a better ROT.
The airport will also be able to augment the handling capacity if encroachments are removed. According to the plan, one arm of the new integrated terminal extends towards the Mithi river, where the land is encroached upon. While the rest of the terminal would be ready by the last quarter of the year, this arm will be constructed only after the encroachments are removed, the report stated.