Mumbai airport congestion: Flights forced to hover for 40-60 minutes, 2000 kg extra fuel burned per hour


New Delhi: In an effort to address the growing concerns flight delay And fuel wastageThe Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has highlighted the imposition of flight restrictions at Mumbai airport. The ministry cites runway congestion and excess capacity as the reason for the stoppage. flights To Hover Long periods in the city, resulting in significant fuel consumption.
A senior MoCA official expressed concern over the increased fuel consumption and the financial impact of long hauls being substantial. The ministry said that considering that an aircraft consumes 2000 kg of fuel per hour on an average, such a long period of circling would have resulted in significant fuel wastage of up to 1.7 kiloliters of jet fuel (costing about Rs 1.8 lakh) for the aircraft. Is. It takes 40 minutes to go around in the air and takes around 2.5 kiloliters of jet fuel (costing around Rs 2.6 lakh) to go around in 60 minutes.
The ministry highlighted the potential consequences for consumers, which would adversely impact both passengers and airlines. Inefficiencies in airport operations lead to long wait times and excessive delays, making the situation worse for all stakeholders involved.
“It must be understood that such increase in fuel costs will ultimately be borne by the consumers. It also has a cascading impact on the efficiency of airport operations, leading to longer waiting times, excessive delays, leading to Both passengers and airlines are adversely affected.” ” the ministry said.
An analysis by the Airport Authority of India identified a bottleneck during high intensity runway operations (HIRO) hours, particularly from 8:00 am to 1100 pm and from 1700 to 2000 pm for general aviation and military aircraft operations. Overcrowding became worse, especially during peak hours.
The root causes were excessive slot distribution, non-adherence to slots by airlines and non-scheduled operations during peak hours. Despite the airport operator's dual role as slot provider and manager, proactive measures were found to be lacking to regulate air traffic activities.
To resolve the issue, the Civil Aviation Ministry intervened on January 2 by issuing instructions to airport operators through the Airports Authority of India (AAI). These directives, communicated through Notices to Air Mains (NOTAM), restricted air traffic activities during HIRO. And non-HIRO periods reduce the number of flights allowed per hour. General aviation aircraft operations were also reduced during the HIRO period.
“Airport operators, being slot providers as well as managers of slots for airlines, should have taken proactive steps to streamline and regulate air traffic movements to solve this problem. However, since their No such action was initiated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had to step in,” the ministry said.
The government stressed that these measures were necessary for airspace safety, operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction. The ministry urged Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to ensure compliance with the prescribed restrictions by all airlines.
Recognizing the need to strike a balance between the needs of airport operators and airlines, the Government of India reiterated its commitment to facilitate a seamless and complete flight experience for passengers departing from Mumbai Airport.
(with inputs from agencies)

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