Runway expansion of Mumbai Airport's Terminal 2 won't be an easy task


By Rhik Kundu

Despite the recent inauguration of the swanky Terminal 2 at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), which is set to ease the air traffic pressure at India’s financial capital, the plans to expand the runway lies in a limbo as almost a sixth of the airport’s 1,982 acres of land is still occupied by slums.

The T2, to be operational from February 12, can handle 40 million passengers a year against about 30m passengers handled by the airport in FY 13. However, it is constrained on the airside due to cross-runways and inadequate apron area and taxiways.

The T2, available only for international flights initially, would integrate full-service domestic flights by mid-2015. But, the shifting of domestic traffic to the terminal depends on the clearance of slums. With the slum removal project stuck in legal tussles, the dream of an integrated terminal and a longer runway could well be delayed.

“It is expected that CSIA may be able to stretch its capacity to handle around 45 mppa (million passengers per annum) against the current traffic of 30 mppa. Assuming that the annual traffic grows by an average of 3 mppa, it can handle additional requirements for the next four-five years. But, then that’s all the time we have”, said Amber Dubey, India-based partner and head-aerospace and defence at KPMG. “Since the bulk of the traffic is concentrated around peak hours, we may see increasing cases of airspace and land congestion. This may lead to flight delays and wastage of fuel by aircraft hovering in the air, waiting for landing clearance.” More info