Mumbai Airport handles 969 flights in 24 hours; sets new world record

Mumbai Airport has handled 969 take-offs in 24hours on Friday. The airport created a new world record breaking its own record of 935 for single-runway operations.

Mumbai International Airport spokesperson said,” It has broken its own previous record of 935.” There is only 65 seconds gap between two aircraft movement in the best conditions. Mumbai has 46 movements capacity per hour. 50 departure and arrivals are handled for an hour twice on Friday- once in the morning and once in the evening whereas 4 aircraft movements handled in 5 mins during peak hours- 2 arrivals and 2 departures.

New York, London, Dubai and Delhi have airports with two or more runways that operate simultaneously. Mumbai Airport has two runways which criss-cross each other due to which only one runway can be used at a time. Thus Mumbai Airport is put in the single runway airport category.

This is the history of busy single runway secondary airports of big cities like London (Gatwick, Stansted airports), Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen airport) and major airports of smaller cities like San Diego (US), Fukuoka (Japan) and Xiamen (China).

Mumbai Airport handles over 900 airline flights per day. The high record of air traffic movement (landings and take-offs) take place on days when the numbers of unscheduled flights i.e charter aircraft, private aircraft-go up, on Friday. Such flights are proscribed at the morning and evening peak hours, so when the load goes up through non-peak hours, new records are set.

“We hope to cross 1,000 aircraft movements per day soon,” the MIAL official said.

In civil aviation, the rule is to record time in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, same as GMT) and Indian Standard Time is five-and-a-half hours ahead of UTC.

The accomplishment was achieved from 5.30am on Friday to 5.30am on Saturday.

Mumbai airport has requested for air travel coupled with land-shortage has enforced the private airport operator and the government-run air traffic control even airline pilots to eke out every second worth of efficiency from the 12,008 feet long main runway 27.

“The second a landing aircraft crosses the beginning of the runway to the second when it exits the runway is recorded. Similarly, take-offs too are recorded and the data is shared with airlines on a weekly basis,” an airport official.

The main aim of every upgrades of the runway and taxiway infrastructure, change in operational practices is to reduce the runway occupancy time (ROT).

Kapil Kaul of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), a global aviation consultancy firm, says: “Gatwick is the only single-runway airport in the world that routinely handles more than 50 flight movements in a given hour. All others are 42 or less. Mumbai has the second highest as it crosses 50.”

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