I also wanted to post an explanation regarding IXM apron.
I am not an expert in this. Just making use of information available to public and a little logic.
According to the details available in AAI website, IXM apron has 7 bays
It is known to all that when they mention a type of aircraft for a particular bay, any smaller a/c than that type can also use that bay. Now coming to the bays....
2 - ATR/Q400 or smaller
2 - A320/B737-800 or smaller
1 - A321/B738-900 or smaller
1 - 767-400ER
1 - A310-300
If you look at the google map/world picture, you can see there is no bay in the line of 1st Aerobridge, but there is a bay behind 2nd Aerobridge. The apron is designed in the way that when the 2nd aerobridge is occupied, the bay behind it cannot be used. In other words, thought IXM has 7 bays, only 6 can be used simultaneously.
Coming to the aerobridge part, one can assume with the type of aircraft mentioned in the AAI website that those are Code D aircraft. B767-400ER is the biggest code D aircraft with 51.92 m wingspan
(52 m comes under Code E) and A310-300 is much smaller with 43.9 m wingspan
, but still Code D aircraft. (Code D consists of aircraft between 36 m and 51.99 m wingspan).
Note: Wingspan is not the only criteria, but it is the major one to decide.
Code D Airbus - A300 and A310 (source
Code D Boeing - B757 and B767 (source
This is where our beloved AAI strikes. These type of aircraft are either no longer exists or very few exists that too in some other part of the world. The AAI designed majority of the smaller airports in India according to Code D. Majority of the aircraft (or should I say 90%?) operated in India belong to either Code C or Code E. So the basic itself is wrong for IXM apron.
Problem with 1st aerobridge
Point 1 : If you look at the google map/earth pic, you can very little concrete surface to the left of 1st Aerobridge. This makes it inconvenient for airlines to use the back-right side exit as the step ladder has to towed and towing vehicle might slip into the mud. You might ask me why airlines should use the back side door when the front door is connected to aerobridge.
a) Airlines like Indigo often uses both aerobridge and back exit to board and deboard the passengers which helps their efficient turnarounds.
b) The important thing is according to DGCA guidelines
, "Provision is made for the safe evacuation of passengers via at least two of the main passenger embarkation and disembarkation doors in the event of the emergency." This means it doesn't matter whether the airlines use the back-right side exit or not, they have to place a step ladder while refuelling as they need to evacuate passengers immediately in the time of emergency. Most of the airlines in India usually refuel in the destination airport for the return flight instead of carrying the whole fuel from origin station.
Point 2 : There is unusual long pushback for both 1st and 2nd aerobridge as the aircraft has to be pushed back till the disused runway (which is used as taxiway). This is because, this part of apron is designed keeping Code D aircraft in mind and accordingly, we dont have enough space within apron to turnaround.
Both the above points make airlines reluctant to use 1st aerobridge especially domestic flights which aim quick turnarounds. So airlines use it only when they are desperate to use aerobridge or when the other bays are occupied.
According to the schedules appear in the booking engine of airlines, the peak time is 12:40 to 13:30 where we will be having three narrow body aircraft (1 A319, 1 A320 and 1 B738). Since we have 5 bays for these kinda aircraft and 4 can be used simultaneously, I dont think we need to worry much. Even in the case of delay of any other aircraft, we still have 1 extra A320/B737 bay and 2 ATR/Q400 bay.
Charters can be parked in the disused runway as you can see in the above pic already that one small is parked there.
Need of the hour
Few things which can make IXM apron more efficient and can be done within existing space are
a) Increase the concrete surface on the left side of 1st aerobridge which will help the a/c using it for a quick turnaround
b) Redesign the existing apron according to Code C. It will reduce the pushback length and inturn help airlines to have a quick turnaround. Redesigning according to Code E takes more space and lot of work and runway has to be upgraded. IMO, IXM doesn't need Code E aircraft at least for the next 10-15 years. IXM kinda airport usually plays with frequency rather than capacity.
I hope this explains everything.