Mumbai Airport has a Super Growth year

Projections by MIAL for 2015-16 put passenger traffic at 35 million. What the airport handed though was 41.6 million, which is over six million more than what was estimated. According to the estimate, Mumbai airport's passenger traffic would have crossed 40 million only in 2018-19. The unprecedented growth has much to do with low fuel prices, something that airport planners must not have foreseen when they chalked up estimates a decade ago. The gap between estimates and actual numbers will only widen in the cur rent fiscal if fuel prices stay low, aviation analysts said.
“It's a super growth year,'' said Amber Dubey of KPMG, referring to the country's domestic air passenger growth. Currently, India's domestic passenger traffic is at a global high of 21.2%. For 2016-17, it could even cross 25% if aviation turbine fuel prices stay down and airlines go ahead with fleet expansion as planned. That will further throw off MIAL's projections, which predict that Mumbai airport's passenger traffic will reach 49 million only by 2022-23. An airport official said, “If the current rate of growth continues, passenger traffic at the city airport will touch 49 million in a few years. It definitely is one of the most constrained airports in the world.'' Till 2012-13, passenger traffic grew at a rate that was predicted. In fact, in 2012-13, after Kingfisher Airlines wound up operations, passenger traffic handled by Mumbai airport fell.
Airside operations have been enhanced with five rapid exit taxiways that allow aircraft to vacate the runway at higher speeds after landing.Before privatisation the airport had only one rapid exit taxiway. Consequently, over the last five years, runway capacity has been increased from over 30 take-offs and landings per hour to 45, peaking at over 52, said an MIAL spokesperson.
Among revisions brought about in the masterplan because of unprecedented growth is the underpass that will connect domestic and international terminals. “The underpass will be used by passenger coaches, airside vehicles that service airlines, to the airport. It will allow for faster movement and will speed up flight operations,'' said the spokesperson. Another plan that was made in response to domestic passenger growth is the building of taxiway M. With its construction, aircraft will have more space to queue up before take off. Afterall, air traffic congestion is only going to be on the rise in the coming years.

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