Flights to and from Mumbai can be expected to be rescheduled or delayed as the main runway of the city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is set to undergo partial shutdown for nearly five months, beginning from November, for renovation work.
The main runway, which can handle at least 46 flights an hour, will be closed between 9 am and 5:30 from November 1 till March 28 next year, a spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) was quoted as saying by Live Mint.
During the shutdown due to re-carpeting work, all operations of the airport will be shifted to its secondary runway, said a report on the news website. Mumbai airport is the second busiest in the country after the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, and handles nearly 1,000 flights a day.
The spokesperson further said that all airlines have informed about the shutdown a year ago so they could prepare accordingly. He added that the airlines have been meeting the airport operator every month to discuss the issue.
However, in view of festivals and holidays, the main runway will be fully operational on December 25, January 1, January 15, February 19, February 21, March 10 and March 25, reported Business Today.
The spokesperson added that the airport authorities and the air traffic control will work together to maximise the efficiency of the secondary runway while the primary one undergoes re-carpeting work, reported Live Mint.
The shutdown is expected to result in rescheduling and delays of flights during the peak travelling season. This may also result in hike in air fares, the report said quoting an online travel agency official as saying.