Serving the major city of Mumbai, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is one of the most prominent travel hubs in the country and the second busiest airport in India, with around 850 continuous aircraft movements every day. It has won awards for its high standards and popularity, including the 2016 Best Airport in India and Central Asia, acting as an Indian landmark as well as transport centre. Located in the Metropolitan Area of Mumbai, it serves the bustling tourist city and important national location through three different terminals spread over an area of 7 million metres squared.
The airport is divided into two passenger terminals, with the first handling domestic flights and the second handling international flights, working with major airlines and connecting to cities all over the world, including New York, London and Cairo. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has various facilities and services for waiting visitors, including prayer rooms, meditation spaces, post offices, luggage storage, currency exchange and banks, as well as access to the Wi-Fi and telecommunication centres. In addition to practice services, there are various opportunities for dining at any of the restaurants, bars and cafes selling a range of international cuisine, or shopping at the duty-free stores full of designer labels and local souvenirs. Visitors travelling with children can find play centres and changing rooms, business people can use conference centres equipped with fax, photocopying and computing areas and VIP travellers can gain access to exclusive lounges with top class facilities.
There are a couple of stations located close to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, including Vile Parle, the nearest railway station to the Domestic Terminal and Airport Road, the nearest subway station to the International Terminal. As well as taking the Mumbai Metro, visitors can travel by bus, with air conditioned services running regularly from various locations within the city. There are also car parking facilities for visitors driving to the airport.
The airport began as an RAF base established in 1942 and used during World War II before becoming a civilian aviation centre in 1946. Although it only had six services a day in its first year, the airport soon became larger and more popular and underwent a million dollar renovation project in the 1970s, creating its international terminal. The airport is named after a Maratha Emperor from the 17th Century, known for his progressive rule and use of ancient Hindu traditions.