As a testament to the growing middle class and fueled by an ever expanding selection of low cost carriers, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) recorded 969 takeoffs and landings last Friday. That’s a world record within a 24-hour period for an airport that operates only one runway. BOM actually has two runways, but since they intersect, only one can be used at a time.
The Times of India reports that the airport hopes to reach 1,000 aircraft movements very soon.
Mumbai’s demand for air travel coupled with land-shortage has forced the private airport operator, the government-run air traffic control and airline pilots to eke out every second worth of efficiency from the 12,008 feet long main runway 27. The runway has a declared capacity to handle 46 take-offs and departure in an hour. Twice on Friday-once in the morning and once in the evening-the runway handled 50 movements in 60 minutes.
Kapil Kaul of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), a global aviation consultancy firm, says: “Gatwick is the only single-runway airport in the world that routinely handles more than 50 flight movements in a given hour. All others are 42 or less. Mumbai has the second highest as it crosses 50.”