Flight operations at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, were affected on Sunday because of congestion, officials said, because of the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet ministers on Sunday afternoon to lay the foundation stone for the Navi Mumbai International Airport and to open the Magnetic Maharashtra Conclave. A section of passengers complained about having to wait for two to three hours as arrivals and departures were delayed.
A senior airport official said that because of the VIP arrivals on Sunday afternoon, the schedule of flights was affected. Modi arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport around 3 pm from where he took a chopper to the Navi Mumbai International Airport site. He reached the Mumbai airport again at 5 pm by chopper from where he went by road to inaugurate the Magnetic Maharashtra Conclave in the Bandra Kurla Complex.
“The delay was witnessed in the afternoon on Sunday. When a single flight gets delayed by 15 minutes, there is a cascading effect on the remaining flights. There is air traffic congestion at the airport and this is a result of that,” said Rajiv Saxena, General Manager, ATC, Mumbai airport.
“Flight departure from Bangalore got delayed and diverted due to bad weather. Post-clearance, routing resulted in the delay of the G8 465 (Mumbai-Delhi-Port Blair flight). Further delay was because of ATC congestion which led to a cascading effect. We regret the inconvenience caused to passengers,” a statement from Go Air read. “We regret the inconvenience caused to our passengers due to a delay in our flight 6E 6446 (BOM-LKO) which was scheduled to depart from Mumbai at 7.35 pm.The flight was delayed for operational reasons and congestion at Mumbai airport,” an official comment from Indigo airline read.
“We not only intimated our passengers about the delay immediately, we also kept them updated about the revised departure time at regular intervals. In addition, our ground staff ensured service of refreshments at the boarding gate,” the statement added. Ria Kalmadia, who was supposed to take a flight to Delhi from Mumbai airport on Sunday, said: “ I arrived at the airport an hour early before my flight departure only to find it was late by two hours. This is a regular scene at the airport, with or without the VIP movement,” she added.