Indira Gandhi International Airport (Hindi: इन्दिरा गाँधी अंतर्राष्ट्रीय हवाई अड्डा) (IATA: DEL, ICAO: VIDP) is the primary airport of the National Capital Region, located in Delhi, India. Named after Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, it is the busiest airport in India in terms of daily flight traffic and second busiest in term of passenger traffic in India after Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. With the commencement of operations at the new Terminal 3, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has become India's and South Asia's largest and most important aviation hub, with a current capacity of handling more than 46 million passengers and aimed at handling more than 100 million passengers by 2030. It along with Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, handles more than half of the air traffic in South Asia. The airport serves as the primary civilian aviation hub for the National Capital Region of India. The airport was previously operated by the Indian Air Force until its management was transferred to the Airport Authority of India. In May 2006, the management of the airport was passed over to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a joint venture led by the GMR Group, which also has the responsibility for the airport's ongoing expansion and modernisation.
In 2007, the airport handled 23 million passengers annually and the planned expansion program will increase its capacity to handle 100 million passengers by 2030. The new Terminal 3 building has the capacity to handle an additional 34 million passengers annually by the start of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Indira Gandhi's Terminal 3 is the world's eighth largest passenger terminal. In September 2008, the airport inaugurated a 4.43 kilometre-long runway. Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) was conferred the fourth best airport award in the world (in the 15-25 million category) and 'Best Improved Airport' in the Asia Pacific Region by Airport Council International.
The airport, earlier known as Palam Airport, was built around the second world war and served as an Air Force Station for the Indian Air Force. Passenger operations were later shifted to the airport from Safdarjung Airport in 1962 due to an increase in traffic. Palam Airport had a peak capacity of around 1300 passengers per hour.
Owing to an increase in air traffic in the 70s, an additional terminal with nearly four times the area of the old Palam terminal was constructed. With the inauguration of a new international terminal (Terminal 2), on 2 May 1986, the airport was renamed as Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
Public Private Partnership
On 31 Jan 2006, the aviation minister Praful Patel announced that the empowered Group of Ministers have agreed to hand over the management of Delhi Airport to the DIAL consortium and the Mumbai airport to the GVK-led consortium.
On May 2, 2006, the management of Delhi and Mumbai airports were handed over to the private consortia.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is a consortium of the GMR Group (50.1%), Fraport AG (10%) and Malaysia Airports (10%), India Development Fund (3.9%) and the Airports Authority of India retains a 26% stake.
The old Palam terminal is now known as Terminal 1 and handles all domestic flights. The terminal is divided into three separate terminals - 1A (for domestic flights of state owned Air India, MDLR and Go Air), 1B (was used by other domestic airlines, now closed and demolished), the Domestic Arrival Terminal (1C) and the newly-constructed 1D (now used by all remaining domestic airlines). There is also a separate Technical Area for VVIP passengers. Additionally there is a separate terminal for Hajj flights.
Owing to the booming Indian Aviation industry and the entry of numerous low-cost private carriers, the airport saw a huge jump in passenger traffic and has failed to cope with the demand. The capacity of Terminal 1 is estimated to be 7.15 million passengers per annum (mppa). However, the actual throughput for 2005/06 was an estimated 10.4 million passengers. Including the international terminal (Terminal 2), the airport has a total capacity of 12.5 million passengers per year, whereas the total passenger traffic in 2006/07 was 16.5 million passengers per year In 2008, total passenger count at the airport reached 23.97 million.
Delhi Airport has two parallel runways and a non-parallel runway: Runway 11/29 (14,534 ft (4430m)) with CAT IIIB ILS on both sides and the main runway 10/28 (12,500 ft (3,810 m)) as well as an auxiliary runway 09/27 (9,229 ft (2,813 m)). Runway 10/28 and Runway 11/29 are the only two in South Asia to have been equipped with the CAT III-B instrument landing system. In the winter of 2005 there were a record number of disruptions at Delhi airport due to fog/smog. Since then some domestic airlines have trained their pilots to operate under CAT-II conditions of a minimum 350 m (1,150 ft) visibility. On 31 March 2006, IGI became the first Indian airport to operate two runways simultaneously following a test run involving a SpiceJet plane landing and a Jet Airways plane taking off at the same time.
In September 2008, the airport inaugurated a 4.43 kilometre long runway, making it one of the longest operational runways in Asia. The runway will increase the airport's capacity to handle 70 flights from the present 34-40 flights per hour. As of September 2008, the new runway was undergoing trials.
IGI Airport is the home of several Indian airlines including Air India, Air India Regional, Indian Airlines, IndiGo, JetLite, SpiceJet. Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, GoAir use IGI Airport as their secondary hub. Approximately 60 airlines serve this airport. There are Six operational terminals making up this airport, they are the following:
Terminal 1 - Domestic
Terminal 1A caters to all domestic flights operated by GoAir, MDLR Airlines, Indian Airlines and Air India Regional. This terminal was built in the early 90's to cater to Indian Airlines domestic flights only. It had to be refurbished after a fire gutted the interiors. DIAL, the owner of the airport, has significantly upgraded this terminal. It now sports a new look with modern washrooms and facilities, however will be torn down on the completion of newer terminals which are expected to finish construction in the coming years.
Terminal 1B has been closed for operations after the opening up of Terminal 1D which opened in April 2009.
The terminal in which all domestic operations (airlines from terminals 1A and 1D) arrive. The terminal is compact, however has received a new greeting area with expanded space, and a bigger luggage reclaim area.
Terminal 1D is the brand new interim domestic terminal, that was inaugurated on 26 February 2009. All domestic flights were moved to this new building from the second week of April, 2009. It is almost double the size of the current Terminal 1B. Once the new Terminal 3 is constructed in 2010, this terminal will be made solely to cater to the low cost carriers as the full fare airlines will also move to Terminal 3, along with the international flights. Terminal 1D has the capacity to handle 10 million passengers per year.
Terminal 1D commenced operations on 15 April 2009. It is currently is used by IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetLite, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet.
Terminal 2 - International
This terminal handles all international operations at the airport. However, constructed in the 80's, it is also in desperate need of repair, and it is half its size to cater to all its passengers. This sign of distress has already been taken care of. The entire terminal has been upgraded. It has been repainted,glass windows have replaced the old dark ones, floors have been refitted with tiles, walls and ceilings now have new surfaces, more immigration and emigration counters have been implemented, new seats have been brought in, new baggage belts, more business lounges, eateries, and duty free shops have also been added. Once all airlines move to the new Terminal 3 upon its completion in 2010 Terminal 2 will work in tandem with T3, until the proposed T4 terminal is built, upon which it will be demolished as per the proposed master plan.
Terminal 3, a state-of-the-art and integrated terminal, is the world’s eighth largest passenger terminal. It occupies 502,000 m² (5.4 million sq ft), with a capacity to handle 34 million passengers annually.
Designed by HOK working in consultation with Mott MacDonald, the new Terminal 3 is a two-tier building, with the bottom floor being the arrivals area, and the top being a departures area. This terminal has 168 check-in counters, 78 aerobridges at 48 contact stands, 30 parking bays, 72 immigration counters, 15 X-ray screening areas, for less waiting times, duty-free shops, and other features. Over 90% of passengers will use this terminal when completed. This new terminal has been completed in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which are to be held in Delhi, and will be connected to Delhi by an eight-lane motorway (National Highway 8), and the Delhi Mass Rapid Transit System. The terminal was officially inaugurated on July 3, 2010, and there were nine flights to test the operational readiness of the new terminal and its ground handling capabilities. All International Airlines shifted their operations to the new terminal in late July, 2010, and all full service domestic carriers in mid October.
T3 has India's first automated parking management & guidance system in a multi level car park, which comprises 7 levels and a capacity of 4300 cars. The system is designed in such a way that a person wishing to park can find space within 5 minutes with the help of an electronic dynamic signage.
Terminal 3 will form the first phase of the airport expansion in which a 'U' shaped building will be developed in a modular manner. In 2010, all international and full service domestic carriers will operate from Terminal 3, while Terminal 1 will be dedicated to low cost operations. In subsequent stages, the low cost carriers will also move to the new terminal complex.
Terminal 4 and 5
Terminal 4 and 5 will be built at a later stage, which will be triggered by growth in traffic, and once completed, all international flights will move to these two new terminals, while Terminal 3 will then solely be used for handling domestic air traffic. A new cargo handling building is also planned. According to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), these new terminals will increase the airport's annual passenger volume capacity to 100 million.<name="economictimes.indiatimes.com"/>
Upon the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, all airlines bound for the Middle East move to this separate terminal to prevent disruption of other passengers who are traveling to other areas of the globe. A separate area has been made for Hajj to cater to the abundance of additional travelers during this season, and to accommodate them with enough provided space. It has a 10 million passengers per year capacity. It is used from October to December. Plans are underway to use the building for the remaining 10 months of the year also.
The Cargo Terminal handles all cargo operations. The airport received an award in 2007 for its excellent and organized cargo handling system.
Airlines and destinations
The airport is connected to Delhi by the Delhi Airport Metro Express train line and the 8-lane Delhi Gurgaon Expressway. Low floor buses regularly run between the airport and the city. DTC operates several buses to the airport.
Prepaid taxis are also available from the terminal to all areas of Delhi.
Fixed base operators (FBO)
Incidents and accidents
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