• Govt sets 2019 deadline for Navi Mumbai Airport

    Alarmed at the capacity constraints in Mumbai airport, the aviation ministry is working on a two-pronged strategy — to create slots by making the airport in Juhu operational, and complete the operational part of the airport in Navi Mumbai by 2019.

    According to the plan, the government has set a 2019 deadline to make the Navi Mumbai airport available by creating operational portions such as the runway, terminal building and the ATC tower.

    “The rest of the infrastructure can come eventually and the airport should be made operational first,” said a top aviation ministry official, who did not wish to be identified. The ministry has also asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to hire consultants to suggest ways to revive the airport in Juhu in its efforts to decongest the existing airport.

    “The plan is to shift general aviation operations and regional flights operations to the airport in Juhu, which will help decongest the existing airport,” said the official.

    He said the plans to build a runway on the sea can be revived. “It is true that that the plan is old and never been implemented. But those were different times, when the current airport was not saturated. The circumstances have changed now and solution needs to be arrived at as quickly as possible.”

    The Mumbai airport has run out of landing slots from this summer schedule that started in March 2016, and could not allow additional domestic flights from the airport, EThad reported in March 2016. The airport could not add slots because the single runway operations out of Mumbai airport does not provide room for any new aircraft movements. Brad Marchand Jersey

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