Mumbai airport busiest with 1 flight every 65 seconds

mumbai airportThe Mumbai airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji International, has become the world’s busiest single-runway airport with 837 flights a day or one flight in 65 seconds on an average in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The airport has even overtaken London’s Gatwick airport that had 757 flights a day. The city also tops in terms of the number of passengers with almost 45.2 million people flying in and out in fiscal 2017 as against 44 million at Gatwick airport.

No other large city in the world is served by one airport that too with a single-runway. All the leading cities in the world including New York, London, Dubai, and Singapore have more than one airport with multiple runways. The New Delhi airport also has in use three parallel runways at any given time. In comparison, Mumbai works with just a single runway for both passenger and cargo aircraft and when it is shut for repairs, it uses the secondary runway.

The scarcity of land doesn’t restrict the flight network of the city, as it operates to about 95 domestic and international destinations. The air traffic controller has to manage two arrivals every 130 seconds and one departure in between these two arrivals so, there is one take-off or touch-down every 65 seconds from the main runway. The airport also witnesses days when the total number of flight operations cross 900.

The city has proposed for a second airport in Navi Mumbai, which is yet to come up. The Gatwick airport, which is the second-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the United Kingdom after London Heathrow, had held the position of being the busiest Mumbai airport with single-runway operations until March 2017 when it was overtaken by the Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

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