CSMIA all set to welcome passengers with the re-carpeted Primary runway 09/27
GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL), managing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), diligently worked towards the Major Rehabilitation work (recarpeting) on the primary runway 09/27 to complete it before the scheduled date of March 28, 2020. As per the latest directive from the government, all passenger flight operations are suspended until 23:59 hrs IST 14th April. This re-carpeting of the runway will lead to improvement and operational efficiency.
GVK MIAL operates one of the busiest single cross-over runways in the world with an average of 980 flights per day, thus making it imperative that the runaway is kept in optimal conditions to maintain continuous and safe aircraft operations during landing and take-off. GVK MIAL executed a well-planned major maintenance program for its primary runway 09/27, where a total of 835 personnel worked to provide efficient qualitative and quantitative effort to achieve the most exceptional result possible. With the outbreak of the novel COVID-19, the re-carpeting work was still undertaken with minimal personnel amidst maintaining social distancing between them and undertaking necessary precautionary measures to safeguard the safety of the employees.
The major resurfacing work of 3,448 meters (11,309 feet) of the primary runway lead to up-gradation of all stressed and cracked portions of the runway surface as well as sections on the associated taxiways. GVK MIAL adopted the conventional method ‘Hot Mix Overlaying’ for the rehabilitation of the runway, which included remove all the AGL (Aeronautical Ground Lighting system), milling the top weathered surface and overlaying it with Hot Polymer Modified bituminous materials in two layers and re-instate the AGL system back . The work also included re-carpeting the portions of all taxiways intersecting runway 09/27, up to the runway holding position and re-grading the RWY Strip Grassy area for more operational requirements amongst others.
The associated taxiways of secondary runway 14/32 also saw a design upgrade mid-last year to take larger workload resulting in flexibility in the use of the upgraded taxiways. The secondary runway 14/32 is now Code F compliant along with a newly constructed RET- rapid exit taxiway namely W5 set at an angle that facilitates exit from the runway at a speed of about 95 km/hour, thereby enabling quicker exit of arriving flights from the runway. This newly constructed rapid exit taxiway and the conversion of TWY W7 from Code C to Code-F Operation contributed effectively to increase the capacity of the runway. The secondary runway has set a record of 47 movements per hour during peak hour traffic as compared to 36 movements per hour. This record was seen during the primary runway re-carpeting when mostly the secondary runway was used during daytime.
Code F certifies that the runway or taxiway is allowed to operate wide-body aircraft that come with a wingspan of 65-80 meters and width of the main fuselage from 14-16 meters that allows landing and exit at a rapid pace minimizing the Runway Occupancy Time (ROT). Besides the secondary runway, the taxiways P and E5 were developed to Code F compliance as well and allows for the operation of B747-8 airliners. The availability of alternate code F compliant runway and taxiways make operations at the CSMIA more reliable and efficient.
GVK MIAL has adopted state-of-the-art technology that enables the runway to take the load of regular air traffic with adequate safety in place. As part of the up-gradation plan at CSMIA, runway guard lights have been installed at the North of runway 14/32 intersection as a mitigation measure to caution pilots or vehicle drivers against entry into an active runway. Furthermore, GVK MIAL has also commissioned the stop bars on its runways; a tool that uses light signals to caution pilots and other airside vehicle operators against entering the runway unless specifically cleared by ATC, stop bars are an added measure to prevent the risk of runway incursions.
GVK MIAL has been at the forefront in developing infrastructure at the airport by enhancing capacity and creating robust process management. The airport continually endeavours to provide advanced technology that help in allowing airlines to operate efficiently and with ease. Through these developments, GVK MIAL has been able to provide the best standards for airlines operating from of Mumbai, while creating better efficacy.