Mumbai airport to handle over 1000 aircraft after the resumption of regular international flights

Mumbai airport is expected to handle more than 1,000 aircraft movements per day once regular international flight services resume, according to the ATC Guild.

Currently, the traffic at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport — the country’s second-largest airport — remains around 25% lower compared to the pre-COVID period. On June 7, 2018, the airport handled 1,003 aircraft movements in 24 hours.

Mumbai airport to handle over 1000 aircraft after the resumption of regular international flights

Saifullah, Regional Secretary of the ATC Guild (India), on Tuesday, February 22 said that from an average of 950 aircraft movements per day before the pandemic in March 2020, the airport currently handles over 700 arrivals and departures daily. He is also the Regional Vice President-South-West Asia, International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA).

“We have around 700 plus movements per day, both arrival and departures, at present, which is still 25 per cent short of the aircraft movements we handled in the pre-pandemic times. A major chunk of this coming from the domestic sector as (a limited number of) international flights are taking place under the air bubble agreements.

In the last 23 months, air traffic has seen ups and downs due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the recovery in traffic we have seen this time, it appears to us that it has crossed all those peaks (of the earlier COVID impact).”

Saifullah, Regional Secretary of the ATC Guild (India), Regional Vice President-South-West Asia, International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA)

India has the third-largest airspace in the world. Over 60% comprises oceanic airspace over the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, Saifullah said while briefing reporters on the occasion of 100 years of Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations.

Stating that regular overseas flights are expected to resume soon, he said, “obviously, we may then handle over 1,000 movements regularly”.

In the wake of the pandemic, domestic passenger flights were suspended for two months from March 25, 2020, while international commercial flights continue to remain suspended since March 23, 2020. Currently, overseas flights are being operated to and from India under bilateral air bubble arrangements.

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