PLANS FOR EXPANSION OF NEW DELHI AIRPORT
Inspired by a massive increase in passenger traffic at Terminal 1 (T1), the GMR Group-led Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) consortium, has unveiled an ambitious plan to expand Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi in three phases in the period 2018 to 2026. Delhi airport handled 57.7 million passengers in the financial year 2016-17 against a maximum handling capacity of 70 million. The passenger traffic for FY2017 has already crossed the capacity of the existing terminal of 20 million. The departure terminal, T1-D and arrival terminal, T1-C will be merged in to one futuristic terminal and will be expanded to accommodate 40 million passengers. The original international terminal T2, mothballed after T3 was commissioned, has been renovated and can handle up to 14 million passengers. DIAL has asked the airlines to partially shift operations from T1 to T2 on an interim basis, from October 2017. T1 will be upgraded in parallel with reduced on-going opera- tions over three years. Once airlines move back to the new T1, the existing T2 will be converted into T4 and integrated with T3. Operations will be streamlined for the passenger and the airline.
One of the more significant upgrades will be away from the public eye. At present, flights to/from T1 need to use a circuitous route to runway 29-11 forcing ATC to overload the central runway 28-10. The new runway to be built in 2021, when commissioned, will hopefully overcome the forced displaced threshold on the existing runway 29-11, which limits its usable length.