Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport provides a service to Mumbai, India. Its airport code, BOM, reflects the cities previous name of Bombay. Chhatrapati Shivaji is among the busiest airports of southern Asia and handles the most international traffic in India.
The airport is named for a regional leader from the 1600s. Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosle lead the Maratha Empire which freed that ethnic group from domination of the Adilshahi empire.
Air operations at the facility trace back to World War II when the Royal Air Force helped create Santa Cruz airfield for its operations. The facility was converted to civilian use after the conflict repurposing some of the military hangers and office space as passenger terminals and other standard airport facilities. The airport operated with these older structures until the late 1960s when new terminals were built.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport Operations
Passengers traveling through the airport use one of two terminals that handle about 31 million passengers every year. This breaks out to about 2.5 million people per month and nearly 100,000 passengers per day. Terminal 1 is sometimes also known as the Santa Cruz terminal in deference to the original name of the airport. This facility handles domestic passengers. Terminal 2, sometimes called Sahar, handles international flights. Each terminal is divided into subterminals each providing service to groups of airlines. Shuttle buses travel the distance between the two terminals, which takes about 15 minutes. Other passenger amenities at the airport include free Internet and the standard lounges and comfort stations.
The two terminals provide about 150 check-in counters and 15 baggage claim areas. Passengers making flight connections at the airport should allow at least 30 minutes to transfer between an international flight and a domestic as this often involves moving between the two terminals. Travelers changing domestic flights can often make connections in less than a quarter hour.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport utilizes two crossing runways to handle about a quarter million takeoffs and landings each year. Both runways have a capacity to handle large aircraft. The longest runway about 3,500 meters in length. The shorter runway is about 3,000 meters in length. Both include standard lighting and instrument landing systems. The airport operates 24-hours per day with no restrictions limiting operations. Future plans include adding more taxiways to the airports ground operations. This would allow the aircraft to exit the runway quicker allowing more landings or takeoffs on the two existing runways.
The airport also operates a busy cargo terminal. Facility capabilities include cargo transfer space for several Boeing 747 sized aircraft at a time. The ground facility includes climate-controlled storage as well as freezer and refrigerator space and the ability to handle heavy cargo. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport handles about 700,000 tons of airfreight each year.
The two terminals have a stated capacity of about 15 million passengers per year or about half of what is actually passing through the airports gates. Possible future expansion plans have included updates and additions to the terminals. Any expansion at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is made difficult by the urban sprawl encroaching on the facility. The airport is located entirely within the city limits of Santa Cruz and Sahar. These two cities, suburbs of Mumbai, have been experiencing growth along with the rest of the region.