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Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport ( ) , formerly Sahar International Airport, is the primary airport in Mumbaimarker, Indiamarker, and the country's second busiest airport.

The airport, with its four terminals, spreads over an operational area of , is Indiamarker's and South Asia's largest and most important aviation hub, handling more than 25 million passengers and 533,593 tonnes of cargo. It along with Delhimarker's Indira Gandhi International Airportmarker, handles more than half of the air traffic in South Asia.Formerly called Sahar (international) Airport and Santa Cruz (domestic) Airport, the two airports were merged and renamed after the 17th century Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosle, to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. In February 2006, Mumbai International Airport Limited, a consortium of GVK Industries Ltd., Airports Company South Africa and Bidvest, was appointed to carry out the modernisation of Mumbai Airport.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has won numerous awards including "Best Airport in India" and Best Airport in Public-Private Partnership. However, it was ranked by Forbes as the world's most delayed with an on time arrival rate of 50% in 2008.


Juhu aerodrome functioned as the sole airport of Bombay up to and even during the 1939–45 war. Due to operational constraints, given its low-level location and proximity to the Arabian Sea coastline especially during the monsoon, it became necessary to move further inland to the suburb of Santa Cruz. By June 1948 a new terminal building was already erected from where Air India (then Air India International) inaugurated its maiden international flight to London via Cairo and Geneva. Initially under the aegis of the Public Works Department, it was subsequently run by the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of India. It was named after the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz where the airfield was located. Santa Cruz Airport remained the name until the new international terminal became operational at nearby Sahar in 1981. A major fire gutted Santa Cruz terminal in 1979. A temporary departure extension or "Gulf terminal" became functional in October 1979. But even prior to this mishap, plans were already underway during the mid 1970s to construct a new international terminal since Santa Cruz, despite several extensions, had become saturated. Even today, the domestic terminals 1-A and 1-B are commonly referred to as Santa Cruz. Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), a consortium of GVK Industries Limited (GVK) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), was appointed to carry out the modernisation of Mumbai Airport in February 2006.According to a report submitted by GVK to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the total land meant for the airport's operations consists of 936 acres of which the actual encroached land is 262 acres against the government estimate of 147 acres; and land under litigation is 34 acres.


Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the second busiest in the Indian Subcontinent, in terms of passengers carried per year, and traffic movements. The Mumbai-Delhi route was recently ranked by Official Airline Guide (OAG) as the seventh-busiest domestic route in the world, based on the number of flights per week. This airport, along with Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airportmarker is the primary international gateway to India and served by approximately 50 international airlines. It is the primary hub for Air India and Jet Airways and also serves as a secondary hub for a few other airlines, including Indian Airlines, JetLite, GoAir, SpiceJet, IndiGo and Kingfisher Airlines. International traffic peaks late in the night, whilst peak domestic traffic is before 10:00. Nevertheless, at least 45% of traffic flows between 10:00 and 18:30 daily.

This airport, along with airports in Delhimarker, Chennaimarker, Bangaloremarker and Hyderabadmarker handles more than 50% of the passengers in India. In the eleven months between April 2006 and February 2007, it handled 180,000 landings and take-offs and over 20 million passengers, with a total of 13.56 million domestic air passengers and 6.73 million international passengers. It registered a 21.28% growth in passenger traffic over the previous year 2005–06, when the figure was 17.6 million passengers. In 2008, for the second year in a row, it was the world's most-delayed airport in terms of arrivals. Only 49.95% of arrivals were on time. About 58% of its late arrivals in 2008 were delayed by 30 minutes or more


An artists impression of Terminal 3
Domestic Departures
Newly renovated International Arrivals at Terminal 2
Domestic Arrivals Terminal 1B
Domestic Arrivals
Upgraded signage
Rendering of Terminal 3, currently under construction

The airport consists of two main terminals: Terminal 1 (Santa Cruz) for domestic flights and Terminal 2 (Sahar) for international flights. These terminals use the same airside facilities but are physically separated on the landside, requiring a 10–15 minute drive between them. The Airports Authority of India provides shuttle services between the domestic and international terminals for connecting passengers. Terminal 1 is further divided into Terminal 1-A, opened in April 1992, and serves Air India's subsidiaries Indian Airlines and Air India Regional, as well as Kingfisher Airlines. Terminal 1-B serves Jet Airways and JetLite, SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo Airlines and other private domestic carriers. Terminal 2, designed by Aéroports de Paris and opened in January 1981, is now Terminal 2-A. The original complex consisting of parking bays 41–46, namely, gates 3 to 8, the first aerobridges ever installed in the Subcontinent serves most airlines whereas Terminal 2-C, inaugurated in October 1999, is exclusively for Air India, Air-India Express and those carriers whose ground operations are handled by Air India. Terminal 2-B, functioned as an extension wing between September 1986 and October 1999 for Air India and handled airlines, before becoming disused when 2-C opened. Terminal 2-B is now back in use following the closure and demolition of 2-A.

Mumbai has two intersecting runways designated 09/27 and 14/32. Runway 14/32, , runs between terminals 1 and 2, while the main runway 09/27 is (previously designated as ) intersects it south of the terminal buildings. Instrument landing system (ILS) approaches are available on all runways, with runway 27 having CAT2 capabilities. The ILS on 27 starts at and is long with a glide slope path of 3.3°. With regard to (truncated) use of both runways, only is designated usable at 09/27 and at 14/32, especially for landings. Runway 14 approach requires aircraft to backtrack and exit upon landing as the turning pad at 32 end is unusable. Due to maintenance runway 09/27 is unavailable for operations between 0715–0915Z on Mondays and Saturdays, and between 0715–0845Z on Wednesdays. A parallel taxiway has been installed on runway 14/32 for aircraft landing and taxing which saves time as well as runway occupancy.Meanwhile the lengths of both the runways are being extended.

From 1 January 2006, both runways were operated simultaneously for three hours in the morning from 0530 to 0830. On average, about 50 flights of smaller aircraft have taken off daily from 14/32 in this time period. Since the experiment was deemed successful it has recently been decided to carry out simultaneous use in the evenings too. It is not clear if this will be for two hours or three hours. A rate of 25 departures per hour is being targeted in the evening slot. The problems with utilising 14/32 are: (i) Mumbai's controversial new control tower erected in 1996 and some tall penetrates transitional obstacle limitation surfaces by over for instrument approaches, and in excess of for visuals. Approach minima at both 14 and 32 ends are higher (based on best approach aid) and are as follows: runway 14 (DA ), runway 32 (MDA ) compared to runway 09 (DA ) or runway 27 (DA ), meaning that there is a higher probability of missed approaches and diversions in inclement weather (ii) a hillock, Trombay Hill, lies away from the 32 end, an approach also questioned recently by security agencies because the Bhabha Atomic Research Centremarker (BARC) nuclear complex at Trombay (Anushakti Nagar) lies within its flight path.

L&T ECCD have been awarded the contract to expand Terminal 1 and to construct a new international terminal. The brand new International Terminal T2 is being designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).


Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), a consortium of GVK Industries Ltd. (GVK) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), was appointed to carry out the modernisation of Mumbai Airport in February 2006. MIAL improved areas of passenger convenience like curbside, terminal entrances and improved cleanliness. Human resources initiatives were taken such as employee communication and training. Some of the changes that have taken place at CSIA in the recent past include: aesthetic changes, additional check-in counters, refurbished toilets, improved signage, additional food and beverage outlets, better curbside, management leading to a smoother traffic flow. The Airport's expansion plans have been repeatedly thwarted by slums encroaching onto the airport area.

The graphic design and ambientation of the airport has mainly been created by Argentinan design studio Steinbranding.

Master plan

In October 2006, MIAL unveiled the master plan for CSIA, which has been designed to expand and upgrade the infrastructure to cater for 40 million passengers per year and one million metric tonnes of cargo per year by 2010. The separate international and domestic terminals will be merged into one terminal building at the current international building and the current domestic terminal will be converted to a dedicated cargo terminal.

The implementation will be undertaken in two stages:
  • The Interim Phase is the implementation of several immediate measures. These were completed by 2008 and included:
    • Refurbishment and construction at Terminal 2
    • Revamp of Terminal 1A to upgrade and expand facilities such as check-in counters and boarding bridges
    • Setting-up of temporary cargo facilities to add capacity
    • Upgrading of the airside runway facilities such as rapid exit taxiways to increase runway capacity to cater to traffic growth
    • Enhancing city-side facilities such as multi-level car parks

  • Phase One (to be completed by 2010) includes:
    • Creation of a brand new terminal building (T2) at Sahar catering to both international and domestic operations
    • Construction of a dedicated link from the Western Express Highway to T2 at Sahar
    • Enhancement of the airside facilities by shifting the air traffic control tower and construction of a parallel taxiway
    • Development of infrastructure on the city-side
    • Building new cargo facilities
    • Construction of Terminal 1C

Key facilities at the revamped CSIA

Facilities Proposed Existing
Parking stands for aircraft 106 92
Boarding bridges 66 19
Check-in counters 339 182
Car parking 12,000 3,600

New taxiways have been developed to reduce the runway occupancy time by aircraft after landing. MIAL is undertaking the installation of a centralised data system which will provide information about domestic as well as international flights to all display devices at both terminals instead of just one or the other as at present. There are plans to extend the scope of the system to the air traffic control (ATC) and apron control areas, the airport website and even to leading hotel chains. A centralised call centre to provide flight details is also envisaged. While a parallel runway seems to have been ruled out, the ATC tower is now expected to be taken down and relocated to facilitate cross-runway operation.

A Wi-Fi service is available free of charge throughout the airport.

Project facts

  • Completion Year: 2014
  • Project Area: 4,843,759 ft
  • Building Height: 45 m
  • Number of Stories: 4

Terminals, airlines and destinations

CSIA Aerial View
Terminal 1B Departures
Domestic arrivals
International Terminal 2A
Rendering of Terminal 3


The airport consists of three terminals:
  • Terminal 1, for domestic flights
    • This terminal currently has two distinct buildings: 1A and 1B
    • 1C is under construction and is expected to open in early 2010
  • Terminal 2, for international flights
    • All international flights, as well as domestic segments of international flights operate from Terminal 2
    • It is currently under redevelopment. Once construction is complete, the terminal will be divided into three distinct parts: A, B and C.
  • Cargo Terminal

Airlines and destinations

Cargo operators

Cargo Airlines operating at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Air France Cargo Air India Cargo Atlas Air Aerologic Blue Dart Aviation British Airways World Cargo
Cathay Pacific Cargo Deccan360 DHL Aviation Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Euro Air Cargo FedEx Express
Jade Cargo Korean Air Cargo Lufthansa Cargo Midex Airlines Qatar Airways Cargo Singapore Airlines Cargo
Sri Lankan Airlines Cargo UPS Airlines Uzbekistan Airways Cargo

Airport services

Fixed base operators (FBO)

There are several fixed base operators at the airport and they include:


  • Ambassador's Sky Chef
  • Chef Air
  • Oberoi Flight Services
  • Sky Gourmet


Ground handlers

  • Air Works India
  • Cambata Aviation
  • GlobeGround India

Ground transportation

Within airport

  • Free shuttle service between the international and domestic terminals, runs every 30 minutes
  • Pre-paid taxi service between the international and domestic terminals

In Mumbai

Accidents and incidents

  • On 10 November 2009, Kingfisher Airlines Flight 4124, operated by ATR 72-212A VT-KAC skidded off the runway after landing. The aircraft suffered substantial damage but all 46 passengers and crew escaped unharmed.

Awards and honours

  • Best Airport in India by the Airport International Council, a body of operators who collectively manage over 1,600 airports worldwide.
  • Best Airport in Public-Private Partnership by the Air Passengers Association of India (APAI)
  • Aeronautical Excellence Airport of the Year 2008 from Frost & Sullivan
  • First Airport in India to Implement Self-Service Kiosks and CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) check-in systems.


  3. Delhi beats Mumbai to become busiest airport
  4. Delhi's IGIA edges ahead of Mumbai's CSIA as country's busiest airport
  5. Travel Biz Monitor:: Mumbai airport gets ready for new innings
  7. The World's Most-Delayed Airports
  8. Airport records 20 mn passengers in 11 months
  9. - The World's Most-Delayed Airports for 2008.
  11. Master plan
  13. Free wi-fi at Mumbai airport

External links

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