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Planning a holiday from Mumbai this festive season is going to become a bit more difficult than one would expect. Passengers travelling from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj airport are in for a minor inconvenience as the main runway is expected to remain shut for the next five months, beginning November 7 to March 28. The operations will be suspended from Monday to Saturday between 9:30am and 5:30 pm.
This temporary shutdown is on account of a major rehabilitation and re - carpeting work. According to reports by Business today, the aim is to address the stressed and cracked portions on the surface of the runway by implementing the ‘hot mix overlaying” method which involves milling the faulty portions and overlaying it with bituminous materials in two layers.
The flights currently running on the main runway will be directed to a secondary runway. While the main runway (09/27) has a capacity to handle around 45 flights every hour, the secondary runway (14/32) can handle only 35 flights. Since it does not have access to rapid exit taxiways, the diversion is likely to translate into more time on the runway and consequently further delays and cancellations. Airlines functioning out of the main runway claim that they are trying to reschedule their flights so as to reduce passengers’ inconvenience. There are also possibilities of a major price hike post the suspension of operations.
The only exception to this new directive is Sundays and peak holidays like December 25, January 1, January 15, February 19, February 21, March 10 and March 25.
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