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December 7 2017
An Indian airport has broken the record for the number of flights arriving and departing on a single runway over a 24-hour period.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport – commonly known as Mumbai International Airport – recorded 969 flights on Friday 24 November, which was later confirmed as a world record.
Although the airport has two runways, logistics mean that only one can operate at a time, technically making the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj a single-runway facility, which allowed it to enter the history books with this impressive new statistic.
As reported by Bloomberg, the airport has the ambition of hosting 1,000 inward and outward flights every day. This suggests that the headline-making 969 achievement on 24 November may also have been, at least in part, a PR manoeuvre designed to draw attention to the airport’s rapidly increasing traffic.
The Bloomberg article also makes reference to the fact that, despite the Mumbai airport clearly being extremely busy on any given day, it is estimated that only 3% of India’s population has ever travelled on an aircraft.
Whilst it is undoubtedly the case that the country’s many areas of poverty exclude a large number of people from air travel, this statistic nevertheless shows that there is substantial room for growth in the domestic market.
According to the International Air Transport Association, around 100 million domestic journeys were carried out in 2016, with the prediction that this number will rocket to an incredible 337 million per annum in the next twenty years.
The UK currently has the world’s third largest aviation market but – with the rapid growth currently being experienced in India – it is expected that the South Asian nation will take this mantle within the next decade, at which point it will be behind only the US and China. Whether or not this prediction is proved correct, airport recruitment agencies in the country will no doubt be pleased with the volume of vacancies they will be tasked with filling in the years ahead.
Image Credit: Riku Lu