MUMBAI: Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said amid a tremendous latent demand for aviation in the country, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai remained the single biggest bottleneck.
He added on January 31 that the capacity expansion at the airport using single runway will continue to be an issue, reports The Indian Express.
Sinha was speaking at the ongoing Centre for Asian Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Indian Aviation Summit 2018 in Mumbai on Wednesday via video-conference. He said while Delhi airport might soon see its fourth runway becoming operational, Mumbai airport still saw slot saturation.
“While there is a tremendous latent demand for aviation in India, two factors are going to determine what that translates into over the next few years. The first one is, how quickly airlines are able to add planes for expansion and the second is the availability of slots at major airports, including Delhi and Mumbai,” said Sinha, adding: “While Delhi airport will soon have its fourth runway operational, Mumbai airport remains the single biggest bottleneck as far as aviation is concerned.”
Mumbai airport sees a daily average of 900 flights in operation. The single runway at the airport has seen a movement of up to 50 flights an hour. “The Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) will take four to five years to become operational,” said the minister.
The NMIA is expected to ease the congestion from the Mumbai airport.
Sinha said the government had set a target of 15 per cent growth in air passengers. According to a CAPA report for 2017, India has seen strong growth in both domestic and international passenger traffic over the last five years.
“Our research indicates that there is a significant and rapidly increasing interest among people in India to go overseas for holidays… By 2025, there will be an estimated 13.9 million leisure departures, generating 19.4 million Indian visitor arrivals overseas,”said Binit Somaia, Director, South Asia, CAPA – Centre for Aviation.