Mumbai: Mumbai airport's main runway has been shut for maintenance. Mumbai's main runway will be shut between 9 am and 5 pm till February 7, 2013. Domestic flights from Mumbai will be affected.
Over 120 domestic departures have been affected, airport sources said, adding, "by the time the work gets completed, airlines' on-time performances will go for a toss, as the main runway will remain unavailable between 9 am and 5 pm till February 7".
They further said, "In the past two days, every airline has experienced a delay of up to 30 minutes as all the take- offs are now taking place from the 09-end of the main Runway 09/27 due to the glide path relocation." The Mumbai airport and the Airports Authority are changing the glide path angle at the main Runway (27) to 3 degrees from the present 3.3 degrees to meet international norms.
Glide path is an equipment that gives vertical guidance to a landing aircraft. The aircraft locks the signal and the descent angle from the glide path and starts descending. Its function is to bring the aircraft to a proper spot or touchdown zone on the runway. Three degrees is considered the optimum.
Mumbai airport authorities say the situation is unavoidable and all stakeholders, including aviation regulator DGCA, are taken into confidence prior to the commencement of the work. "This is something which is unavoidable. But we have informed all the stakeholders and have also taken all the factors into consideration and chosen the best time of the year to keep the risks to the minimum," an airport official said.
(With additional information from PTI)