The Civil Aviation Ministry announced on Wednesday that significant improvements have been observed in the air traffic situation at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai. Over the past two months, the airport, one of the busiest in the country, faced congestion issues, prompting the Ministry’s intervention.

During the period between November 11, 2023 and December 10, 2023, the airport saw 14,476 arrivals, with 1,641 planes delayed for more than an hour. Comparatively, between February 16, 2024, and February 24, 2024, there were 4,337 arrivals, and notably, no delays of over an hour were reported. Additionally, 178 flights experienced delays of 30 to 60 minutes, while 570 aircraft arrived ahead of schedule.

The Ministry emphasised the impact of early arrivals on overall congestion, stating: “Aircraft operating earlier than the approved slot...lead to congestion and delay for other aircraft adhering to the schedule.” To address this, directives were issued to both Mumbai airport operator MIAL and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on January 2, and further restrictions were imposed on February 15, reducing aircraft movements during peak hours.


The airport, operating with two intersecting runways that cannot function simultaneously, faces capacity constraints during High-Intensity Runway Operations (HIRO) and non-HIRO periods. To mitigate congestion, measures were implemented to restrict non-scheduled flight operations during specific time periods.

Airlines were urged to strictly adhere to allocated slots to prevent air congestion. MIAL, in coordination with airlines, began implementing these directives on February 20. AAI’s analysis identified excessive slot allocation and poor adherence as contributors to congestion. The Ministry assured ongoing monitoring of the situation and expressed satisfaction with the positive outcomes resulting from their initiatives. As a result of these measures, the number of flights operating to and from Mumbai airport has been effectively reduced.