Thursday, January 24, 2013

You might be paying for the empty seats on your flight


Mumbai: Every time you board a flight that takes off from the main runway (09) at Mumbai airport, you unknowingly pay the airline quite a bit extra for your ticket. The reason? The airport is yet to replace a jet blast shield on the main runway that was damaged in July 2012.
A jet blast shield, or deflector, is a safety device that redirects the highenergy exhaust from a jet engine to prevent damage and injury. It must be strong enough to withstand heat and high speed air streams as well as dust and debris carried by the turbulent air. Without a deflector, jet blast can be dangerous to people, equipment and other aircraft.
Because of the damaged shield (which would cost just Rs 10 lakh to replace) planes cannot use the first 1,000 feet of the main runway, to prevent damage to high-tech instruments behind the shield and to the slums further back. This shortened take-off in turn forces them to fly with less than the maximum permissible load-ie,fewerpassengers. Unsurprisingly,the airlines recover these losses by hiking their ticket prices.
24/01/13 Bipin Kumar Singh/Economic Times