Mumbai airport limps back to normalcy

A SpiceJet flight from Jaipur carrying 167 passengers and crew overshot the runway late Monday night after landing amid heavy rains, blocking it for traffic. AFP file photo

The main runway of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is back to operating mode.

The primary runway 09/27 has been made available for normal operations from 16.47 hrs, officials of the Mumbai International Airport Ltd said.

This follows the successful recovery of the SpiceJet aircraft and its subsequent shifting away from the main runway.

A 60-member team from MIAL’s Airside Operations, Maintenance, Projects and Fire team along with about 100 contract staff of AIC, worked day and night over 90 hours through incessant rains and created pathways to facilitate the disabled aircraft to be pulled onto firm ground after it was lifted from the mud by the Air India team using their Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kit (DARK) equipment.

Even as rains were pouring continuously, MIAL team worked 24 X7 to create a pathway of around 130 x 20 metres using stone bed and gravels. On top of the stone bed, steel plates and FRP sheets were placed to enable the towing  equipment to move the aircraft weighing around 41 tonnes after it was emptied of all cargo and fuel.

The lack of nose gear of the disabled aircraft presented a huge challenge to the MIAL team even as they worked during pounding rain. To mitigate the impact of non-availability of the nose gear, a trailer had to be positioned at the front of the aircraft to support it while the aircraft was being pulled from behind using towing aides.

Care was taken to ensure that the disabled aircraft was not damaged any more and that there are no safety incidents to staff engaged in the aircraft recovery. The SpiceJet Boeing overshot the runway on Monday-Tuesday night.

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