Mumbai airport may see lesser flight disruptions this monsoon

Passengers flying from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) may face fewer delays this monsoon, thanks to a centralised system introduced by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The new air traffic flow management system, introduced in Delhi, will send messages to various airports equipped with this technology including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and eight defence airports.

This means that pilots flying to CSMIA will be informed about ground traffic, weather conditions and delays in advance.

“We have been using this system for two years on a trial basis to avoid congestion at spacecrunched airports, especially during crisis days. The system sends messages about an affected airport to various other airports, after which flights are planned, rescheduled or re-routed depending on the situation,” said an AAI official.

The city airport faces frequent flight delays and cancellations during monsoons, causing inconvenience to fliers.

AAI, in its statement, said the system is primarily meant to address the balancing capacity against the demand to achieve optimum utilisation of the major resources – airports, airspace and aircraft at every Indian airport where there is a capacity constraint.

Mumbai air traffic controllers (ATC) said they expect better monitoring of flights and lesser congestion this monsoon.

A senior ATC official said, “The system monitors the situation on ground as well as in the air. For instance, if the runway is temporarily unavailable for any reason such as potholes on the runway, the system will accordingly alert pilots at different airports and help plan their take-offs or [for flights that are already mid-air] approach towards Mumbai.”

Meanwhile, another AAI official added that they are improving the system based on feedback received during the trial run.

First Published:
Jun 24, 2019 14:05 IST

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