A technical change in the angle of the taxiway would add to the operational capacity of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai, officials from Air Traffic Control (ATC) said. The change, which would save five seconds per flight, will in turn add to the number of flights landing and taking off from the airport.
The airport sees 48 flights and 52 flights in peak hours take-off and land every hour, respectively. The angle of the taxiway would be changed from 90 degrees to 45 degrees for reducing the runway occupation times of the aircraft. “The experiment, if proved successful, could easily add the operation of one or two flights per hour. The effort is part of a move to improve the operational capacity of the Mumbai airport. We will analyse the process after due permissions are received,” an official from Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said.
The official said that the airport, which sees an operation of 900 flights on an average, could see an increase of 15-20 flights. The move will specifically help the smaller aircraft that see 80 per cent traffic at the airport, officials from the ATC said.
“The turn will help pilots to vacate the runway with ease as compared to the time taken by them to make a turn and leave the airside slowly. It will also improve our traffic landing capacity,” an ATC official said.
A study will be conducted in detail to check the increase in flight operations after the change. While the alteration to the angle is in place, the authorities await the required permissions from the safety body and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to start using the same.
The effort is a part of the plan to introduce Rapid Exit Taxiway in the airport, a concept prevalent at the airports of Kolkata and Delhi. Experts believe that the increase in the operational capacity of the airport would be helpful till another airport is brought into use in the city.