24 Hours at Mumbai International Airport

Mumbai is far from a little city, boasting more than 18.41 million citizens. This number makes it the second most-densely populated city in the world. And, in addition to those who live there, millions more travel in and out of Mumbai every year for business, pleasure, and everything in between.

How do they get in and out? Most choose to fly at Mumbai’s airport, which puts them in the record books for yet another feat: being the world’s busiest single-runway airport.

If you were to spend 24 hours at this international intersection for travel, you’d get to watch 980 flights in a constant cycle of land-and-leave as tired passengers unload and flood into Mumbai’s streets while many more board the planes for a new destination.

Of course, this doesn’t make them the most effective single-runway airport in the world. That title actually goes to Gatwick airport in the United Kingdom, but at the same time, the workers at Gatwick don’t have to deal with anywhere near as many planes or passengers (with a capacity limited to around 110 fewer flights per day than Mumbai’s bustling travel hub).

While you’re at Mumbai’s airport waiting for your own flight, you’ll also have the chance to take note of the recently constructed T2 (Terminal 2), which features a beautifully constructed and modern design that has become an absolutely iconic part of modern-day India.

And, if you think it’s easy to re-do an outdated and dingy terminal, you’d be wrong. Factor in that the airport’s operation remained in full-swing during the construction process and it becomes that much more mesmerising to look at the amazing design of the T2. In total, its construction costs were estimated to be around $1.5 Billion USD.

If you don’t happen to be running under the over-hangings rushing to your plane, you can take a few minutes to enjoy the project that the airport has proven to be very proud of–and with good reason. The contemporary design was inspired by a white peacock type of style. The theme features many aesthetic elements that can bring even the most tired eyes to life in wonder.

So, whether you’re on one of the nearly 1,000 planes landing at the airport today or heading out on the next take-off, take a second to appreciate the beauty of the T2’s design, from the water bodies to the lotus light fixtures overhead.

It may be the go-to airport for India, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t gone the extra mile to make it the best.

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