Mumbai: So far regarded as the country's busiest airport, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) has slipped to the second spot, behind Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), with the number of air traffic movements (ATM) it handles dipping from a daily high of 720 flights last year to 650 this year. It continues to handle the highest number of passengers, however.
According to data provided by the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) and Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), New Delhi's IGI airport has handled a larger number of ATMs per day over the past four months. However, in terms of passengers handled, CSIA still occupies the top spot.
For the period April-July 2008, CSIA recorded an average of 650 flight movements per day, while Delhi's IGI recorded 680 flights per day. Over the same period last year, Mumbai had handled 720 ATMs per day as compared to 607 daily flight movements at IGI.
According to airport officials, the reason for the decline in ATMs at CSIA may have to do with the space constraints. While additional slots are being made available for airlines at Delhi, Mumbai is unable to offer any as it battles for space with encroaching slums and residential facilities that it has acquired as legacy when it took over the airport.
Airlines are cancelling flights as they fail to get desired slots.