New airport departure terminal to take off by March-end,say officials

Already four months behind schedule,the new domestic terminal 1D of the IGI Airport would not be operational before March-end,say airport officials.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published:February 8, 2009 1:19 am

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel earlier said it would operate from this month-end

Already four months behind schedule,the new domestic terminal 1D of the IGI Airport would not be operational before March-end,say airport officials.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had last month said that the new terminal would be ready for commissioning by February-end. But an airport official,who does not want to be named,said it might be inaugurated by this monthend but the building is still under construction. “The terminal would not be able to open doors to airlines and passengers before March-end,” the official said.

The new terminal,touted as the country’s first one for ‘low-cost’ carriers,was initially scheduled to be operational last October. It will come up between Terminals 1A and 1C. Once the new terminal becomes operational,the existing departure terminal 1B will be closed.

At present,the arrival terminal 1C is sandwiched between the two departure buildings: 1A and 1B. As a result,vehicular traffic leading up to these terminals gets mixed,leading to traffic congestion outside. That aside,construction and renovation work also leads to long traffic snarls outside the airport. A flyover is also being constructed to ease traffic leading to the new terminal.

“When the new domestic terminal becomes operational,the two departure buildings will come adjacent to each other; the arrival hall will be some distance away. This will route the traffic well and result in smooth movement of vehicles outside the airport,” Arun Arora,spokesperson for the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL),said.

Terminal 1D is expected to cater to full service airlines such as Jet Airways and low-cost carriers. As per projections,the terminal will have a capacity to handle 10 million passengers every year.

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 induction of an advanced in-line baggage handling system,” Arora said. “This system will not only make check-in faster for passengers but also make it more secure and efficient.”

IGI is the second busiest airport in the country and handles nearly 70 domestic and international airlines,connecting more than 110 destinations across the country and abroad. Passenger traffic at the airport is expected to reach 34 million per year by next year.

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