Mumbai : Two postage stamps have been issued to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of the first flight piloted by the late J.R.D. Tata at the now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
It was on October 15, 1932 that the 28-year-old Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata flew a Puss Moth single-engine aircraft carrying mail from Karachi to Mumbai, putting the city on the global airmap.
Later, the same aircraft was piloted by his friend, a former Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot, Nevill Vintcent, who flew to Madras (now Chennai).
The Postal Department has issued two colour postage stamps of Rs 5 and Rs 15 each, displaying facets of the present-day busy airport and a first day cover showing the image of the airport where the flight commanded by Tata landed.
The first flight landed at Mumbai’s Santacruz Airport, then a military airport, where the RAF launched operations in 1942 till it was transferred to the Indian government after independence for civilian use.
The hangars of the RAF at Santacruz were converted into a domestic and an international terminal for commercial passenger traffic, which started growing steadily thereafter.
Earlier owned and managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), in 2006 the operations were transferred to Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between the GVK-led consortium and AAI under a PPP initiative.
Starting with a single-engine single-flight operation 75 years ago, today the airport sees an estimated 867 daily flights. This works to 45.2 million passengers annually.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is the only airport in the world with a record of handling 935 flights on a single-day in a single-runway operation.