Mumbai airport’s main runway not yet functional

September 4th, 2011 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) Mumbai airport’s main runway is yet to reopen as the authorities Sunday continued the massive effort of retrieving a Turkish Airlines aircraft that skidded off Friday, officials said.

The officials added that no timeline can be given as to when the aircraft will be retrieved off the main runway of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) as heavy rains made recovery operations difficult.

“The aircraft recovery is under progress. A safe timeline will be informed to all. Most flights are running on time and no flight diversions have happened since morning. However, a Singapore Airlines flight has been cancelled,” an official of the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said.

The aircraft skidded off the runway and got stuck in the soft mud Friday following heavy rains. All 104 passengers, including 11 crew members, were safely evacuated.

“MIAL has deployed all resources and completed construction of the pavement to remove the aircraft from the site. The next steps are subject to an assessment of suitability of ground and weather conditions,” the official added.

Normal operations at CSIA were severely hampered Sunday morning.

Earlier Sunday, airport officials said the main runway would be functional by 12 noon. But strong winds and heavy rain hampered the recovery operations.

According to an airport official, there were about 45 and 55 minutes of delay in the arrival and departure of flights respectively.

All normal flight operations have been shifted to the secondary runway.

Turkish Airlines had attributed the incident to “excessive rainfall”.

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