Mumbai Airport Runways Repair: How Does It Stand to Affect You?

Two runways of the Mumbai airport – 09/27 and 14/32 – will be shut between 11 am and 5 pm on 23 October.

Updated
India
3 min read
Two runways of the Mumbai airport – 09/27 and 14/32 – will be shut between 11 am and 5 pm on 23 October.
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Two runways on Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji terminal, on Tuesday, 23 October, will remain shut from 11 am to 5 pm due to repair work. This is said to affect around 250 flights in and out of Mumbai.

The maintenance work is to be carried out at the intersection of both the runways –09/27 (the main runway) and 14/32 (the secondary runway) – a spokesperson for the airport told PTI.

The maintenance is necessary as the runway required strengthening, an executive told The Economic Times.

“This closure is to strengthen the intersection in the runway at Mumbai airport. Since the repair work is to be done at the intersection, we will have to close the runway completely. We have decided to close it during the day time to ensure that early morning, late evening and international flights are impacted minimally.”
A Mumbai International Airport Executive

So how is this going to impact passengers taking a flight on 23 October? Here are some answers.

How Many Flights Stand to Get Delayed or Cancelled?

Over 250 flights stand to get affected as a result of the two runways of the Mumbai airport being closed between 11 am and 5 pm on 23 October.

According to Air India, it has made provisions to reschedule its international flights which fall within this time frame, so those travelling international between 11 am and 5 pm, to or fro the Mumbai airport should expect a delay in the flight timings, The Indian Express reported.

The airlines also told the newspaper that about 32 of its domestic flights – including departures and arrivals – stand to be affected on 23 October.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet has said that about 20 of its flights stand to get affected during the six hour runway-shutdown on 23 October, the report added. 

However, it did not specify whether these flights would be cancelled or rescheduled.

Indigo, meanwhile, told Livemint that it was “working with the respective airports to minimise the impact of the runway closures on the travelling public”.

Jet Airways has put out a list of the flights that are delayed/cancelled due to the maintenance. Click here to see the full list.

Air India, on the other hand also put out an alert on its Twitter and asked the concerned travelers to check their website for further details.

When Should You Leave for the Airport on 23 October?

Considering the potential delay in flights flying into or out of the Mumbai airport on 23 October, an important question to be addressed for the passengers is how much earlier should they leave for the airport.

Assuming that the average passenger aims to reach the airport about two hours ahead of the check-in time, it would be wise to shift around the itinerary a bit on just this one day and reach the airport about three to four hours ahead of the check-in time.

While it is the responsibility of the airlines to alert their passengers about changes flight timings, much ahead of time, for those who are staying far away from the airport a head-start wouldn’t be the worst idea – especially keeping Mumbai traffic in mind.

Will This Lead to a Hike in Flight Fares?

According to an airport executive, domestic flights flying in or out of the Mumbai airport stand to get the most affected, leading to airlines cancelling some of these flights, which could lead to an overall hike in the ticket prices in the days before and after the scheduled runways shutdown.

However, a CSIA spokesperson told Business Times that all the respective airlines had been appraised of the situation months in advance, and had also been encouraged to bring in wide body aircraft so that they had the capacity to carry more passengers in one go.

Speaking about the problems that come with this, an Air India spokesperson told Livemint: “There is a limitation to the aircraft that can be added on the affected routes. This is a difficult situation for all airlines as flights will have to be curtailed.”

A second phase of the maintenance and repair work on the intersection between the two runways is expected to be carried out between 7 February and 20 March, (except on 21 March) from 11 am to 5 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, PTI reported.

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