Had published this by mistake before I had finished writing it. Apologies. It is done now.

This is a word that has become something I think of every time I take a flight back to Mumbai. Circling over Mumbai for 30-60 minutes has become commonplace thanks to the air traffic congestion — made worse by the crisscrossing runways that were designed, and the inability of the airport managers to add a new runway quickly owing to the land being used by voters. So, it was a pleasant surprise when my 8:30 pm flight from Chennai hovered for only 15 minutes and actually landed on time at 10:15 pm. It must have been a year since I had the pleasure of an on-time arrival in Mumbai. Even the Air France flight from Paris that I had taken a couple weeks ago had to hover for 50 minutes. The longest hovering that I have done over Mumbai was about 80 minutes (from 10:30 pm to 11:50 pm).

I am not sure hovering is the only solution. I can understand there are limitations in the air traffic movements that can be handled. So, why not ask the airlines to take the delay on the ground prior to take-off rather than waste expensive fuel doing it in the air? Of course, the right solution of building additional runways is not something I think we have even begun work on in Mumbai.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.