The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, formerly known as the Sahar International Airport, is one of the busiest airports in Asia, and the regional hub for Western India. It is the second busiest airport in India, after the Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi, and the thirtieth busiest airport in the world. Mumbai Airport had a total passenger base of 30.74 million passengers, and handled 656,369 tonnes of cargo by the end of financial year 2012.

History

The first airport in Mumbai, set up in 1932, was at Juhu, two kilometers away from the present Mumbai airport. The present day airport, located at Sahar, inside the city limits, was set up in 1940, mainly for military use during the Second World War. As the war ended, and India became independent from British rule, Mumbai airport soon grew into the busiest in India. The first major development was a new terminal in 1958. Major expansions have been ongoing ever since.

In 2006, the airport was privatised, and a consortium led by GVK took over the management of the airport, from Airport Authority of India. This has resulted in a fresh wave of expansion and development plans, and this “brown-field” infrastructure project, aims to make the airport one of the best in the world.

The bulk of the latest developments are at Terminal 2, which, when complete, would become a state-of-the-art four-level integrated terminal, with an area of over 4,39,000 square metres, catering to 40 million passengers annually.

Terminal C of the Mumbai airport

In 2011, the Airports Council International ranked Mumbai airport as the third-best in the world in the 25–40 million passengers category.

Facilities

Today, Mumbai airport has five terminals, complete with almost all passenger amenities usually available at international airports. It has extensive passenger and visitor facilities, including, duty free shops, ATM, exchange services, post office, lounges, restaurants, left luggage facilities, medical emergency rooms, childcare rooms, business centre, executive lounges, prayer rooms, wi-fi, and more.

Air India, Emirates, British Airways, and Lufthansa have exclusive lounges at the airport.

Awards

Mumbai airport is the first Indian airport to receive the ISO 10002:2004 certification for Passenger Complaint Handling, enabling it to conform to international standards. It is also the first Indian airport, and second in Asia, to receive the ISO 14064-1:2006 certification, for Carbon Emissions Accounting.

The airport has been constantly receiving awards and recognition from passenger and industry associations. It received the „Best Airport in India“ award from Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) in 2007 and 2008, and also the „Best Brown Field Airport in Public–Private Partnership“ award from APAI and Consumers Association of India in 2009

Mumbai airport has also been receiving international recognition on a consistent basis. In 2008, this airport became the first international airport to win ‘Airport of the Year’ Award by Frost & Sullivan Aeronautical Excellence. In 2009, the airport won the Autodesk Hong Kong Building Information Modelling (BIM) Award for the design of the Air Traffic Control Tower.

In 2011, the Airports Council International ranked Mumbai airport as the third-best in the world in the 25–40 million passengers category. During this year, the airport also received a „Special Commendation“ for the Golden Peacock Award, for Occupational Health & Safety. In 2012, Mumbai airport received the Routes Airport Marketing Award for Middle East & India.

Image: wikipedia