October 31, 2021 7:32:27 pm
After being shut for 18 months, Terminal 1 of the Delhi Airport resumed operations on Sunday. The terminal resumed with its pre-Covid operators — Indigo and SpiceJet.
The first arrival was a flight from Durgapur which landed at 12.01 am and the first departure was a Mumbai-bound flight, which left at 1.49 am. Till 6 pm, 69 departures and 64 arrivals were recorded. Around 200 flights are expected to land and take off on a daily basis and the number might increase with time.
The terminal is opening for the first time since it had been shut on March 24, 2020, when flight operations had been suspended in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Terminal 3 and Terminal 2 of the airport began operations in a calibrated manner from May 25, 2020, and July 22, 2021, onwards, respectively.
A number of arrangements have been made in order to ensure social distancing is maintained, said officials of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL). Six self-check-in kiosks have been set up. At the check-in counter, passengers are encouraged to use the e-boarding scanners.
At the security check, queue managers, floor markings and allocation of alternate seats have been made. Passengers can opt for contactless food and retail options and stringent measures will be taken at shops and restaurants.
The terminal opened in the midst of the festival season, where the number of travellers is higher than usual.
While air traffic movement at the Delhi Airport had gone down significantly during the second wave, there has been an uptick in passenger numbers over the past few months. The number of travellers had reduced to 18,000 per day in May. This increased to 62,000 per day by the end of June. By August, the numbers went up to 90,000.
As of now, the two terminals are handling around 1.5 lakh passengers per day. In pre-Covid times, the Delhi Airport used to see 2-2.5 lakh passengers in a day.
In the last 18 months, construction work on the expansion project was going on while the terminal was shut. While work is still ongoing, it will not interfere with operations in Terminal 1. As part of the expansion project, DIAL is working on the integration of the departure and arrival terminals of T1, construction of a new T1 Apron, landside developments for circulation and connectivity improvements, and T3 modification works.
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