Brace for delays, Mumbai main runway to be closed six days a week

The main runway 09/27 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai (IATA:BOM, ICAO: VABB) will be closed six days of the week (Monday to Saturday) from 7th November 2019 until 28th March 2020. The closure will be from 0400 UTC to 1200 UTC, i.e. 0930hours to 1730 hours local time.

The runway will remain open on 25th December, 1st January, 15th January, 19th February, 21st February, 10th March and 25th March due to holidays or festivals.

The airport will undertake major rehabilitation / re-carpeting work during this period. The work is expected to address all the stressed / cracked portions of the runway surface and portions associated with taxiways of Runway 09/27 by using conventional method of “Hot Mix Overlaying”. The work will also include re-carpeting of portion of taxiways intersecting with RWY 09/27, up to runway holding position (RHP).

This will lead to congestion at Mumbai during the closure period since the Rapid Exit Taxiways won’t be available due to work, even when runway 09/27 is in operation, in phases. This will increase the runway occupancy time for aircraft, leading to reduced number of movements.

During varying stages of the work, Runway edge lights, Runway centerline lights and Approach lighting system will not be available, with official NOTAMS being issued to inform the airlines. Emergency restoration of runway 09/27 will take up to 03 hours, depending on when the need arises.

Mumbai is the busiest single runway airport in the world and the second busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic. The airport had last worked on its runways in Feb-Mar of 2019. The slump in air traffic movement at Mumbai has long recovered with more seats on domestic routes than ever before. The secondary runway 14/32 at Mumbai is now Code F compliant which means it can handle A380 aircraft. However, the runway capacity of the secondary runway is less than the main runway.

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