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Mumbai airport plans Rs 1,600-crore upgrade

March 10, 2014 09:14 IST

Mumbai airport plans Rs 1,600-crore upgrade

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Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai

A metro link improving access to the terminals, expansion of the new T2 terminal, a new taxiway and a tunnel under the runway for airside (the area within an airport’s passport, Customs control and security checks) vehicular movement are being planned in the second phase of the modernisation of the airport in Mumbai.

The total cost for these upgrades, to be completed between financial years 2016 and 2019, is pegged at Rs 1,600 crore (Rs 16 billion), including interest cost and the pre-operative expense of Rs 341 crore (Rs 3.41 billion).

Executives at the Mumbai International Airport Ltd outlined the development plans last week and will form an Airport Users Consultative Committee comprising airlines, the Airport Authority of India and other stakeholders.

MIAL did not respond to an email query.

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Image: The Mumbai airport.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff

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The airport is the second busiest in the country but suffers from airside congestion, reducing capacity.

The integrated T2 terminal opened for international operations in February; domestic operations will shift there next year.

Its hub potential, too, is limited.

The second phase of construction at the airport is aimed at improving both the connectivity to the terminals and boosting terminal & runway capacity.

This includes expanding the T2 by building the southeast pier that will let MIAL add seven passenger boarding bridges  or aerobridges, taking the total to 29 bridges.

The proposed metro link to the airport as part of the Colaba-Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (-Seepz) line will reduce the commute time between Colaba and the airport to 40 minutes from around an hour now.

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Image: The airport is the second busiest in the country.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff
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Mumbai airport plans Rs 1,600-crore upgrade

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In the airport, three stations have been planned -- one each at the domestic and international terminals and in the GVK SkyCity, a commercial hub being planned on airport land.

The cost of the stations at the terminals will be included in the airport project cost, while of that at the airport colony will be part of the SkyCity.

The total cost of developing the metro lines in the airport is estimated at Rs 518 crore (Rs 5.18 billion).

Totally, the Colaba-Seepz line, being executed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, will cost around Rs 23,000 crore (Rs 230 billion).

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Image: The Mumbai airport.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff

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Mumbai airport plans Rs 1,600-crore upgrade

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A new taxiway will be built creating an additional aircraft holding area before the takeoff point of the main runway.

This will give the Air Traffic Control flexibility to change the departure sequence at the last moment, leading to greater runway capacity, MIAL said in a presentation to airlines last week.

A tunnel is being proposed to reduce the time taken for transfer between the old domestic terminals and the T2.

A 600-metre tunnel with 100-metre ramps on both the sides beneath the secondary runway will be built to cut the distance between the two terminals by two kilometres and the commute by six-eight minutes.

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Image: A new taxiway will be built creating an additional aircraft holding area before the takeoff point of the main runway.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff

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Quicker immigration

Immigration check will get quicker at the Mumbai airport, with plans to do away with the secondary check.

Currently, after clearing immigration, a police constable checks whether passengers’ passports have been stamped at the counter.

The immigration department will also stop asking arriving Indians and departing foreigners to fill a form.

“Trials will be conducted from next week and boarding passes will be scanned by immigration staff to capture the airline passenger data.

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Image: Immigration check will get quicker at the Mumbai airport.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff
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“Upon successful completion of the trials the secondary immigration check will be withdrawn,” said an airport official.

An airline executive said: “It is a major hassle to stand in a queue again after clearing the immigration.”

The airport’s new terminal has 132 immigration counters (60 for departure and 72 for arrival). 

However, only 50 are manned during peak hours due to staff shortage. The airport handles around 20,000 passengers daily.


Image: The airport's new terminal has 132 immigration counters (60 for departure and 72 for arrival).
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff
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