Spearheading the country’s aviation growth

Posted: 30 September 2008 | Mr. B.S. Shantharaju, Chief Executive Officer, Delhi International Airport (P) Limited | No comments yet

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is undergoing a major transformation, under the stewardship of Delhi International Airport (P) Limited (DIAL). The airport is being modernised with the addition of new terminals, runways and other passenger convenience infrastructure.

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is undergoing a major transformation, under the stewardship of Delhi International Airport (P) Limited (DIAL). The airport is being modernised with the addition of new terminals, runways and other passenger convenience infrastructure.

DIAL is a consortium led by GMR Group, one of India’s leading infrastructure developers. Other partners in the consortium include: Fraport AG, Eraman Malaysia, India Development Fund and Airports Authority of India under the Public Private Partnership Initiative of the Government of India. DIAL was awarded the mandate for the modernisation and restructuring of IGI Airport into a world class facility, after an international competitive bid in January 2006.

The airport, with a traffic throughput of 24 million passengers (2007-08), is the second busiest airport in the country. Currently, the airport is served by nearly 70 domestic and international airlines, connecting more than 110 destinations across the country and the globe.

Since taking over operations of IGI Airport in May 2006, DIAL has carried out extensive development of existing terminals and adding new facilities. Within the existing terminals, DIAL has brought about many changes to upgrade the facilities. Terminal 1 has undergone extensive modifications to both interiors and exteriors, to give a modern look. The seats, rest rooms, lighting and air conditioning have all been upgraded. DIAL has also introduced a wide variety of eateries across the airport, to cater to the varied taste of passengers.

Some recent developments

Modernisation of existing Terminal 2 (International)

The International Terminal (Terminal 2) has undergone a major renovation, which has significantly increased its capacity to handle passengers. The departure ramp on the city side has been widened to accommodate more vehicles. DIAL has also deployed a large number of traffic marshals, free luggage porters and customer care executives on the city side, who guide passenger vehicles, help passengers with their luggage and lead them to their respective entry gates. The number of entry gates into the terminal has been increased from four to eight.

In the departure check-in area, an additional 2,500m² of space has been added to increase the number of check-in counters. The terminal now features 100 check-in counters, up from 78 and these new check-in counters will assist the airlines in processing passengers faster. The modern three level, in-line baggage handling system, will eliminate the entire process of getting one’s luggage X-rayed before check-in. Passengers can now proceed directly to check-in counters upon entering the terminal, thus saving 10-15 minutes. Airlines operating from IGI Airport International Terminal have shifted to the in-line baggage handling system.
The number of immigration counters in the departure area has now gone up from 28 to 52. This increase in counters and immigration officers will help them speed up the immigration process and reduce queues. Furthermore, the space allocated to the immigration area in the departure level has been increased by 800m². The security hold area has been expanded and additional seating has been provided. The number of security lanes has also been increased to 22 from 10, which will reduce the queues for security clearance. Additional X-ray machines are also being provided for hand baggage inspection, and the aerobridges for aircraft boarding have been renovated and have a pleasant look and feel.

For arriving passengers, immigration will be smooth with the addition of 10 new immigration counters, taking the number up to 38. 10 more immigration desks will be added in the coming weeks.

The baggage reclaim belts have been modernized and four of them have been increased in length which will enable the number of baggage per hour to be processed quicker. Additionally, customs control is also being enhanced with the addition of more desks, plus, other facilities at the terminal have also been upgraded. The rest room facilities for passengers have been enhanced and modernised. They have been fitted with modern contact free fittings and dedicated staff have been deployed for their maintenance and upkeep.

Construction of new Domestic Departure (Terminal 1D) & expansion of Domestic Arrivals (Terminal 1C)

The under construction Departures Building is located between the existing Terminal 1A and the Terminal 1C. The new terminal will have a capacity to handle 10 million passengers per annum. The new building will be a two level structure, where passengers will check-in at the upper level and proceed to the security hold area. The check-in process will be streamlined by the induction of an advanced in-line baggage handling system. This system will not only make check-in faster for passengers, but make it more secure and efficient. The departing passengers would then be able to avail ultra modern lounges and retail facilities. When their respective flights are announced, passengers would travel downstairs to a gate hold room area and thereon to their respective aircraft.

The improved Arrivals Building (Terminal 1C) is being expanded to allow an increase in baggage claim areas. The number of baggage reclaim belts will be increased to eight, from the current five. This will ensure that passengers will be able to retrieve their baggage quickly. Additionally, this would also allow a greater passenger throughput capacity.

Arriving passengers enter the terminal via gates on the airside and then proceed directly to the bag-claim areas on the rear side of the building. On claiming their bags, passengers then proceed outside. A new multi-level car park, along with a separate surface parking lot will be constructed at the domestic terminals for the passengers’ convenience. Terminal 1D and the expanded Terminal 1C are expected to be commissioned towards the end of 2008.

Construction of new runway 11-29

A new chapter in India’s aviation history unfolded on 21 August 2008, when the inaugural flight touched down on Indira Gandhi International Airport’s (IGIA) brand new runway 11-29. This is IGIA’s third runway, and with it, it becomes India’s first and among the very few civilian airports in Asia, to have three operating runways.

The first touch down on the runway was made by a special flight by an Air India Boeing 777. Completed more than six months ahead of its scheduled date of February 2009, the 75m wide runway is among the longest in Asia at 4,430m. Built to Code F standards, the runway is capable of handling new generation large aircraft such as the Airbus A380. 11 to 29 will significantly expand IGIA’s capacity to handle aircraft movements.

In addition, the runway is also equipped with CAT IIIB Instrument Landing System at both ends allowing compatible aircraft to land, even when the visibility is as low as 50m. This will complement the existing CAT IIIB equipment on runway 10-28, making IGI Airport the only one in India to have twin runways with this advanced Instrument Landing System. In addition, an advanced Surface Movement Guidance System, featuring induction loop sensors, has been deployed to track the movement of the aircraft along the runway.

Construction of the new integrated passenger terminal building – Terminal 3

The most important step in the modernisation of Delhi Airport, is the construction of a new integrated passenger terminal (Terminal 3), which will be ready before the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010. This phase will have a total project outlay of Rs. 8900 crore (USD 2 billion) to enable Delhi Airport to build a capacity to handle 60 mppa by 2010. It is expected that the passenger traffic in Delhi will grow to 29 mppa by 2010.

Designed in consultation with Mott McDonald, a leading management, engineering and development consultancy and HOK, world renowned airport architects, Terminal 3 would feature more than 75 aerobridges and 20 remote parking bays for passenger embarkation and disembarkation. It is targeted that 90% of all passenger traffic at T3 would be handled via aerobridges. Nine of these aerobridges would be compatible for the Airbus A380. India’s leading engineering company, Larsen & Toubro, has been entrusted with the task of design and construction of this project. Parsons Brinckerhoff International Inc. is the Project Management Consultant.

T3 would be a state-of-the-art complex, featuring common use terminal equipment and an advanced five level in-line baggage handling system, with explosive detection technology for greater efficiency and security. The check-in area would feature more than 160 check-in counters and passengers would greatly benefit as check-in and security clearances would be faster and less obtrusive. For international passengers, more than 90 desks would facilitate immigration procedures.

The two tier terminal building would feature the departure complex on the upper level and the arrivals on the lower level. The roof of the building will have stylized incisions, to allow daylight, but will be angled to protect the interior from direct sunlight. The effect would create a calm environment and maximize the sense of volume, space and light inside. The use of natural light would also reduce the dependency on artificial light during day-time.

The arrival hall will feature both standard and wide-body baggage reclaim belts, passengers will emerge from Bag Reclaim into the Internal Landside Arrivals Concourse, from where transit passengers would use elevators to proceed to the Departures level. Four piers will provide access to the aircraft from the terminal, while two piers will have swing gates for easy interchangeability between domestic and international operations.

Access to the new terminal would be via a six lane approach road. The Airport would also be connected via a dedicated high-speed metro line connecting to the city centre. This project is being part funded by DIAL.

Terminal 3 would form just the first phase of the airport expansion. In subsequent stages, the airport will be further developed with the increase in passenger demand and more terminals and runways would be added in a modular manner to form a U shaped complex. It is estimated that the passenger traffic at Delhi Airport would rise to 46.2 mppa by 2015 and be approximately 80 mppa by 2025. At the same time, aircraft movements are expected to cross 0.38 million a year by 2015 and be approximately 0.6 million by 2025. Cargo volumes are also expected to increase at a steady rate and to roughly reach 2.13 million tonnes per year by 2025.

In later phases, another runway will be built and the existing secondary runway (09-27) would be realigned to form a fourth parallel runway, to cater to the growth in passenger and air traffic. The airport is being designed with an ultimate capacity of 100 million passengers per annum.

Construction of Terminal 3 is nearly 40% complete and it will be commissioned in April 2010.

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