Mumbai runway repairs worth ₹23 crore completed

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on March 29, 2019 Published on March 29, 2019

According to a MIAL spokesperson, tyre bursts, weather conditions and rubber deposits can deteriorate the condition of the runway

The runway is set to be fully functional from March 30

The repair of the intersection of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA)’s runway cost Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) between ₹23- ₹25 crore.

MIAL, which runs the airport on February 7, had announced the partial shutdown of the runway to recarpet the intersection area. The runway is set to be fully functional after almost two months from March 31.

The airport has two runways; the main runway is 3,600 meters long and 60 meters wide and the second runway is 2,990 meters long and 45 meters wide with a cross-shaped 50,000 sqmt intersection where the repair work was carried out.

Over 600 people carried out the recapeting of the top two layers which was four inches thick. Around 275 Aeronautical Ground Lightings (AGL), which act as a guide light for the pilots on the runway were removed for repairs and refitted afterwards.

Money matters

According to a source, “The recarpetting of the intersection cost the company approximately ₹18- ₹20 crore along with another ₹3-₹5 crore to remove and refix the AGLs on the runway.” MIAL spokesperson declined to confirm the amount spent.

A MIAL spokesperson on Thursday said that it was important to recarpet the intersection to increase its lifespan. The last time MIAL had carried the recarpeting of this intersection in 2009-10. This gives the section of the runway an additional 10 years.”

Impact of shutdown

The runways were shutdown for six hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 11 am to 5 pm. On an averge, 950 flights are operated on a daily basis, of which, 230 flights were re-scheduled or cancelled. The shutdown of the runway impacted about 0.7 to 0.8 per cent of the entire operation throughout the year, the source added.

According to an analyst, the re-scheduling of the flights along with cancellations, must have impacted the entire revenue of the company as well. “This will impact at least 3 per cent of the revenues of MIAL.”

According to another MIAL spokesperson, “The runway sees close to 1,000 flights a day. There are several reasons that can deteriorate the condition of the runway, like tyre bursts, weather conditions and rubber deposits. Each aircraft that lands on the runway leaves rubber deposits of approximately 3-15 kgs. Boeing 777-300, most of which are owned by Air India leaves the maximum quantity of residue.”

The source added, , “The company writes it off as an expense in their balance sheet.” They said, “Airports keep carrying out such repairs, these are already taken into costs. Though the amount may not be huge, eventually, the company does pass on the costs to the airlines, which later gets passed on to the passengers.”

When contacted MIAL via an email query, they remained unavailable to comment.

Published on March 29, 2019
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