The main runway of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) will remain closed from today – November 4, 2019, to March 28, 2020, for repair and maintenance works. The runway will remain shut from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM every day except on Sundays and festivals. The shutdown will cause disruptions in the flight movements, and the passengers are likely to face delays in their flights. The authorities may re-route many aircraft or change the timings of several international and domestic flights. Mumbai’s primary runway 09/27 can manage up to 48 arrivals and departure per hour. The second runway 14/32, on the other hand, can manage up to 36 flights per hour. The second runway will remain fully operational at all hours.
Passengers can expect severe delays in flights
The runway would be fully operational on January 15, February 19 and 21, March 10, and March 25 of 2020 on account of festivals. There are chances that airfare may soar high due to the flight disruptions. According to some reports, online travel company EaseMyTrip has estimated a ticket rise by 20-30%.
The repair work was initially announced to happen from November 1, 2019. The schedule got postponed due to monsoons. As a part of the maintenance works, re-carpeting will be done to smoothen the cracked portions of the runway surface. The authorities would use the traditional method of ‘Hot Mix Overlaying’, including milling of the top surface and overlaying it with bituminous materials in two layers. The portions of taxiways intersecting with RWY 09/27 up to runway holding positions would also be re-carpeted.
Re-carpeting primarily aims to smoothen the cracks on the runway
This is the second time in 2019 that Mumbai runway is being closed for maintenance works. Earlier this year, the authorities closed both primary and secondary runway from February 7 to March 30, 2019, for maintenance works. This resulted in the cancellation of 200+ flights and also resulted in the rising of ticket fares by 5-10% during that time.
Mumbai airport is country’s second busiest airport. In 2018, the airport handled 48.5 million domestic and international passengers in 2018, according to data from the Association of Private Airport Operators. An estimation of 900 arrivals and departures happen every day at Mumbai airport.