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Mumbai Airport Dysfunctional

November 13th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Mumbai airport has to be the worst that exists in any major city in the world. With two runways that crisscross each other,  arrivals and departures are severely constrained. Add to that the increasing stories of near misses on the ground and in the air that keep filtering through.

In addition, of late, these runways have been getting some work with the result that the airport is actually shut down every Tuesday between 12 noon and 6 pm. Believe that? Mumbai — “India’s answer to Shanghai” — has its airport shutdown for 6 hours during the day once a week.

The result is that almost every arrival and departure is delayed. My 6:10 am flight to Chennai took off around 6:45 am. Airlines have aded 10-15 minutes to their schedules for Mumbai.

Of course, the airport cannot expand since a significant portion of its territory is occupied by voters who cannot be moved. A new airport is nowhere on the horizon.

Mumbai airport has been privatised. But just building or refurbishing the terminals is not enough. We need to make the whole travel process more efficient. In that chain, the runways are the weakest links. Amazingly, we don’t seem to have any way to fix that.

So, we are resigned to our fate. And we bear it stoically and silently.

PS: Don’t get me talking about the approach road to the Bandra train terminus. We never learn.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Hayes // Nov 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

    No airport serving the public is private nor may ever be. On the same hand, I celebrate any firm or agency that is willing and able to successfully operate a global airport.

    We want a great deal where we are and expect a great deal where we travel.

    All airports must be repaired and always up to date. Our status and pride. Our time and effort. Our life and safety. Of course we must be happy with airports.

    In a very long list of challenges, a safe and working airport is worth talking about and worth creating.

  • 2 Tarun Anand // Nov 13, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Maybe a start would be to wear a black band everytime one travels through Mumbai airport or wear a t-shirt with the message.

    But I guess the bigger question is – what do we do with the condition of so many things in our country? Traffic on roads, bad airports, poor electricity and water….

    In Delhi, a frequent sight is the repair and painting of pavements where as the real thing that needs repairs is the road! Obviously some Madhu Kodaesque figure is making millions here..

    I wonder aloud what could be that solution to our problems…

  • 3 Global Voices Online » India: The State Of Mumbai Airport // Nov 13, 2009 at 11:45 am

    […] two runways that crisscross each other, arrivals and departures are severely constrained,” comments Rajesh Jain at Emergic. Cancel this […]

  • 4 Mahindra // Nov 13, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Lack of vision and Resource constraint is the main reason for these problems that we are facing today. We can understand the resource constraint that country faced earlier. But not having right visionary leaders at right place at right time is going to cost us more in coming days. Leaders who are running this India/Indian states/cities/.. absolutely do not have proper plan to serve 1.2+ Billion people.

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