VIP security concerns delay exclusive terminal for chartered planes in Delhi
A dedicated terminal for chartered aircraft at Delhi airport may not come up soon due to security concerns over use of runway 9-27 by small planes.
Delhi airport has three runways — 9-27, 10-28 and 11-29. Of these 9-27 is the shortest and mostly used by VIPs, including the Prime Minister and the President.
Delhi airport operator, DIAL, had proposed a dedicated terminal and parking bays for private jets near runway 9-27 so that business travellers can just walk into their aircraft.But security officials said the operation of private chartered flights from the same area may compromise the safety of protectees and suggested shifting of the proposed terminal.
Sources said DIAL is now looking for a new site for the terminal. Among options for the new facility are a site near Terminal 3. Officials associated with the proposal said despite delay the terminal will be built by 2020.
“Usage of runway 9/27 for GA (General Aviation) movement has been disallowed and consequently it became essential to identify a new location for the development of FBO (fixed based operator) MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facilities at IGIA in order to reduce the on ground movement of aircraft,” said a spokesperson of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), airport operator.
“DIAL has identified the land for the development of 62 parking bays, 4 hangars and 2 FBO terminals at a site near T3. Details of the same have been shared with ministry of civil aviation and Airports Authority of India (AAI),” the spokesperson said.
The Delhi airport operates about 1,200 flights daily. An 40-50 small non scheduled chartered planes also fly from Delhi. The private aviation sector has registered an annual growth of 12-15%.
Airport officials said 95% of the private jets fly from Terminal 1, which is already operating beyond its capacity.
A spokesperson for Bird ExecuJet airport services private limited, which will construct the new terminal, said that they will finish construction in 18 months, once they are assigned land.
“People use chartered plane to save time. Ideally, they should be able to walk to the plane from the terminal. A blueprint of the terminal is almost ready. The new building will have a lounge also. There will be just one floor and within 60 days of land allotment, we will start the construction,” the spokesperson said.
Due to the increasing rush of passengers, the ministry of civil aviation has decided to increase the capacity of Delhi airport by 50%. The new terminal will also handle international chartered planes.
Nearly 50 chartered planes fly from Delhi airport daily.