THE CHHATRAPATI Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) is using a new technology for maintenance work on the runway that started on Tuesday.
A Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) official said the technology was being used for the first time in the country at CSIA.
Starting Tuesday, the primary runway will be closed for four hours between noon and 4 pm due to the runway work, while flight operations are to be shifted to the secondary runway till October-end. The MIAL official said the technology being used, namely AGSG, was imported from the United States and would be used for the first time in the country at CSIA.
“From our trips to the various parts of the world to hunt for new technologies and options, the AGSG technology was selected for the work. The technology primarily used bitumen (tar) for the work and helps complete the work at a faster pace. The technology also helps us complete the runway work in shorter time span and time in comparison to the many number of days it could have taken otherwise,” an official spokesperson from MIAL said.
The official also said after taking tests of the use of technology and its suitability to the weather in Mumbai, the same was chosen. “Before any technology is planned to be used on the airport surface, we try to conduct its tests before giving a final nod. After getting the required clearances, we have decided to implement the same at CSIA. A short documentary will also be made to record the runway cleaning work as this is a pilot initiative,” the spokesperson added.
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While flight operations were not majorly affected on Tuesday due to the secondary runway being in use, airlines have started planning for the major operation haul which will be caused from October-end when both runways will remain closed.
“Majority of our operations were not affected as the block was only of five hours and the secondary runway remained operational. A final plan of action will be given at the end of October where we will inform passengers on Air India’s operational haul from November,” an official spokesperson from Air India said.
“IndiGo has already informed its commuters of its change of plan as far as services are concerned. “This is to notify all passengers flying to and fro Mumbai that between October 31 to November 30 on Mondays and Thursdays from 1200 to 1700 hours, both runways at Mumbai airport will not be available for landing and take-off due to runway maintenance. Hence, flights schedules to and fro Mumbai will be affected (on Mondays and Thursdays) in this period. All passengers are requested to check their respective flight status on line or social media channels while travelling during this period,” an official statement read. Jet Airways also announced of changing its schedule from October 31 due to runway work.