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ROUTES: Mumbai airport finds solutions for overcrowding

Mumbai’s Chhtrapati Shivaji International airport believes that despite its well-publicised congestion, it has found ways to continue expanding.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at Routes Asia in Okinawa, the airport’s vice president of aerospace marketing Raveen Pinto says there are three solutions it has developed to accommodate further growth.

It is encouraging airlines to shift more of its domestic flights to operate in the evenings, when the slot constraints are not as serious. Pinto admits however that it may not be the long-term solution as doing so could affect night operations for international flights.

The airport is also pushing airlines to upgauge the aircraft they operate. “With bigger aircraft, we don’t need to handle more aircraft for the same number of passengers and it frees up some slots,” explains Pinto.

Finally, the airport has implemented several incentives to attract new routes and airlines. They include having a one-year landing charge waiver for new non-stop services not previously connected to Mumbai. The airport is also considering lowering landing charges for widebody aircraft to bring them closer to the charges levied on narrowbodies.

On Navi Mumbai’s long-awaited establishment, Pinto believes that there is scope for both airports to cooperate, despite being competitors in the same area.

“We see them as being complimentary to our operations and we look forward to working with them and the GVK group to come up with a partnership strategy,” he says.

A greenfield airport, Navi Mumbai is seen as essential to relieve overcrowding at Mumbai airport. GVK, which controls Mumbai airiport, has been selected to build and operate the new facility, which is planned to start operating in 2019.

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