Rain and gusty winds make task of removing grounded aircraft difficult

A day after a Turkish Airlines aircraft skidded at the Mumbai airport, the main runway remained shut as flight diversions continued and duration of delay increased.

“NOTAM [Notice To Airmen] for the main runway closure has been extended till 11 p.m. Flight operations had to be suspended for few minutes in four spells due to visibility dropping below minimal on the secondary runway. Six flights were diverted during the day. Arrivals and departures are delayed for about one hour currently,” the Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd (MIAL) said. Continuous rain and gusty winds made the task of removing the grounded aircraft difficult. “Around 200 manual labourers have been deputed with 34 engineers from Larsen & Toubro, MIAL and Turkish Airlines. Fifty machineries are also being used.”

The authorities are building a hard platform to facilitate movement of the aircraft. “Since yesterday, 50 truckloads of solid materials and 20 truckloads of milling materials are being used to create a temporary hard pavement for the aircraft to be backtracked and moved to the designated site. Air India will recover the disabled aircraft once the solid pavement is ready. More than 100 truckloads of soil had to be excavated to clear off the slushy ground around the aircraft. The cargo in the aircraft also had to be offloaded, leading to constructing a 20/40 feet temporary road to manoeuvre and take the cargo out,” MIAL said.

Airside operations team and fire crew with crash tenders and Forward Command Post are kept posted 24/7. The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is monitoring the operations.

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