The Mumbai airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji International, has become the world’s busiest single-runway airport with 837 flights a day or one flight in 65 seconds on an average in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The airport has even overtaken London's Gatwick airport that had 757 flights a day. The city also tops in terms of the number of passengers with almost 45.2 million people flying in and out in fiscal 2017 as against 44 million at Gatwick airport.
• No other large city in the world is served by one airport that too with a single-runway.
• All the leading cities in the world including New York, London, Dubai, and Singapore have more than one airport with multiple runways.
• The New Delhi airport also has in use three parallel runways at any given time.
• In comparison, Mumbai works with just a single runway for both passenger and cargo aircraft and when it is shut for repairs, it uses the secondary runway.
• The scarcity of land doesn’t restrict the flight network of the city, as it operates to about 95 domestic and international destinations.
• The air traffic controller has to manage two arrivals every 130 seconds and one departure in between these two arrivals so, there is one take-off or touch-down every 65 seconds from the main runway.
• The airport also witnesses days when the total number of flight operations cross 900.
• The city has proposed for a second airport in Navi Mumbai, which is yet to come up.
The Gatwick airport, which is the second-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the United Kingdom after London Heathrow, had held the position of being the busiest airport with single-runway operations until March 2017 when it was overtaken by the Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.