SOM in the Press

Build It Bigger: Mumbai Airport

Image © SOM

Source: Build It Bigger

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is hopping. But the busiest airport in fast-growing India, it is also the most delayed airport in the world. It ushered through 17 million passengers a few years ago, 20 million the next, 24 million the next...And having made two separate trips to Mumbai to shoot this episode, I can tell you firsthand: it's an unmitigated madhouse. The chaos begins the moment the plane touches down, with an abnormally long delay to get the airplane to a gate. Once off the plane, the sheer volume of people fighting their way through immigration and baggage claim is mind-bending. Abandon hope of personal space, all who enter here! (For added fun, try elbowing through the crowds while trying to get high-definition television camera equipment though customs.) The airport is so insanely busy it has to be expanded. 

But the airport is so insanely busy, how can it possibly be expanded? 

That's the challenge facing construction crews here as they build a brand new international terminal and renovate the domestic one on the original footprint—while 400 flights a day come and go. One engineer compared the whole endeavor to doing open-heart surgery in the middle of a marathon. 

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