Indira Gandhi International Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA: DEL, ICAO: VIDP) serves as the primary civilian aviation hub for the National Capital Region of Delhi, India. The airport, spread over an area of 5,106 acres (2,066 ha), is situated in Palam, 15 km (9.3 mi) south-west of the New Delhi railway station and 16 km (9.9 mi) from New Delhi city centre.
|Indira Gandhi International Airport|
|Owner||Airports Authority of India|
|Operator||Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL)|
|Location||Palam, Delhi, India|
|Elevation AMSL||237 m / 777 ft|
|Statistics (April 2016 - March 2017)|
Named after Indira Gandhi, a former Prime Minister of India, it is the busiest airport in India in terms of passenger traffic since 2009. It is also the busiest airport in the country in terms of cargo traffic overtaking Mumbai during late 2015. In calendar year 2016, it was the 21st busiest airport in the world and 10th busiest airport in Asia by passenger traffic handling over 55 million passengers. The airport handled over 57.7 million passengers in fiscal year 2016-17. It is the busiest airport for Airbus A320 aircraft.
With the commencement of operations at Terminal 3 in 2010, it became India's and South Asia's largest aviation hub, with a current capacity of handling more than 40 million passengers. The planned expansion program will increase the airport's capacity to handle 100 million passengers by 2030.
The airport was operated by the Indian Air Force before its management was transferred to the Airports Authority of India. In May 2006, the management of the airport was passed over to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a consortium led by the GMR Group.
In September 2008, the airport inaugurated a 4,430 m (14,530 ft) runway. The Terminal 3 building, which commenced operations in 2010, has a capacity to handle 34 million passengers annually. Terminal 3 is the world's 8th largest passenger terminal. The airport uses an advanced system called Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) to help keep takeoffs and landings timely and predictable.
In 2010, 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 Airports Council International. The airport was rated as the Best airport in the world in the 25–40 million passengers category in 2015, by Airports Council International.
Delhi Airport was awarded The Best Airport in Central Asia and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2015. IGI also stood first in the new rankings for 2015 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards.
Safdarjung Airport was built in 1930 and was the main airport for Delhi until 1962. Due to increasing passenger traffic at Safdarjung, civilian operations were moved to Palam Airport (later renamed to IGIA) in 1962. Palam Airport had been built during World War II as RAF Station Palam and after the British left, it served as an Air Force Station for the Indian Air Force. Palam Airport had a peak capacity of around 1,300 passengers per hour. Owing to an increase in air traffic in the 1970s, 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 Airport (IGIA).
On 31 January 2006, the aviation minister Praful Patel announced that the empowered Group of Ministers have agreed to sell the management-rights of Delhi Airport to the DIAL consortium and the Mumbai airport to the GVK Group. On 2 May 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 (54%), Fraport (10%) and Malaysia Airports (10%), and the Airports Authority of India retains a 26% stake.
Nine years later, in May 2015, Malaysia Airports chose it exit from DIAL venture and sold its entire 10% stake to majority share holder GMR Infra for $79 million. Following this GMR Group's stake at DIAL increased to 64%. Earlier GMR indicated that it was interested in buying out the 10% stake of Fraport.
The old domestic airport (Palam) is known as Terminal 1 and handles domestic flights for all budget airlines. The terminal is divided into three separate buildings – 1A (dedicated terminal for state-run Air India, no longer used), 1B (used by all private commercial airlines, now closed and demolished), the Domestic Arrival Terminal 1C and the newly constructed departure terminal 1D (now used by all domestic low-cost airlines (GoAir, IndiGo, SpiceJet). There is also a separate Technical Area for VVIP passengers.
Significant growth in Indian aviation industry led to a major increase in passenger traffic. The capacity of Terminal 1 was estimated to be 7.15 million passengers per annum (mppa). Actual throughput for 2005/06 was an estimated 10.4 million passengers. Including the now-closed international terminal (Terminal 2), the airport had 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. In order to ease the traffic congestion on the existing terminals, a much larger Terminal 3 was constructed and inaugurated on July 3, 2010. The new terminal's construction took 37 months for completion and this terminal increased airport's total passenger capacity by 34 million. Except the three budget airlines handled by Terminal 1, all other airlines operate their flights from Terminal 3.
|Runway Number||Length||Width||Approach Lights/ILS|
|29/11||4,430 m (14,530 ft)||60 m (200 ft)||CAT III-B / CAT III-B|
|28/10||3,810 m (12,500 ft)||46 m (151 ft)||CAT III-B / CAT I|
|27/09||2,813 m (9,229 ft)||45 m (148 ft)||CAT I / CAT I|
Delhi Airport has three near-parallel runways: runway 11/29, 4,430 m × 60 m (14,530 ft × 200 ft) with CAT IIIB instrument landing system (ILS) on both sides, runway 10/28, 3,810 m × 46 m (12,500 ft × 151 ft), and runway 09/27, 2,813 m × 45 m (9,229 ft × 148 ft). In addition to Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Lucknow and Sanger Airport, Jaipur and Delhi Airport are the only airports in India to have been equipped with the CAT III-B ILS. 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 on runway 28 and a Jet Airways plane taking off from runway 27 at the same time.
The initially proposed mode involving simultaneous takeoffs in westerly flow to increase handling traffic capacity caused several near misses over the west side of the airport where the centrelines of runways 10/28 and 9/27 intersect. The runway use was changed to segregate dependent mode on 25 December 2007, which was a few days after the deciding near miss involving an Airbus A330-200 of Qatar Airways and an Indigo A320 aircraft. The new method involved use of runway 28 for all departures and runway 27 for all arrivals. This mode which was more streamlined was adopted during day hours (0600 - 2300 IST) till 24 September 2008.
On 21 August 2008, the airport inaugurated its 3rd runway 11/29 costing ₹10 billion and 4,430 m (14,534 ft) long. The runway has one of the world's longest paved threshold displacements of 1,460 m (4,790 ft). This, in turn decreases the available landing length on runway 29 to 2,970 m (9,744 ft). The purpose of this large threshold displacement is to reduce noise generated by landing aircraft over nearby localities. The runway increases the airport's capacity to handle up to 100 flights from the previous 45–60 flights per hour. The new runway began functioning on 25 September 2008 and gradually fully opened for commercial operations by November the same year.
Since August 2015 all three runways are operated simultaneously to handle traffic during day hours. Only runways 11/29 and 10/28 are operated during night (2300 - 0600 IST) hours with single runway landing restriction during westerly traffic flow that is rotated late night (0300 IST) and reversed weekly to distribute and mitigate night time landing noise over nearby residential areas.
To cater for demand of increasing air traffic, construction of a fourth parallel runway next to the existing runway 11/29 has been cleared.
IGI Airport serves as a major hub or a focus destination for several Indian carriers including Air India, Air India Regional, IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara. Approximately 80 airlines serve this airport. At present there are two active scheduled passenger terminals, a dedicated Hajj terminal and a cargo terminal.
Terminal 1 is currently used by low cost carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet. DIAL is working to expand Terminal 1 and enhance its annual passenger handling capacity from the current 18 million to 30 million within four years by year 2022.
- Terminal 1A
Terminal 1A was built in the late 1980s to cater to Indian Airlines. It had to be refurbished after a fire gutted the interiors and DIAL significantly upgraded the terminal. It was used by Air India for its airbus operations until it shifted to the new Terminal 3 on 11 November 2010. The terminal is now closed and is expected to be torn down on the completion of newer terminals.
- Terminal 1C
Terminal 1C is used only for domestic arrivals. The terminal has been upgraded with a new expanded greeting area and a larger luggage reclaim area with 8 belts.
- Terminal 1D
Terminal 1D is the newly built domestic departure terminal with a total floor space of 53,000 m2 (570,000 sq ft) and has a capacity to handle 15 million passengers per year. Terminal 1D commenced operations on 19 April 2009. It has 72 Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) enabled check-in counters, 16 self check-in counters, and 16 security channels.
Terminal 2 was opened on 1 May 1986, at a cost of ₹950 million and was used for International flights until July 2010 when operations shifted to T3. DIAL shifted operations of GoAir to terminal T2 from 29th October 2017 in order to continue expansion work of T1.
|Official Terminal 3 Video|
Designed by HOK working in consultation with Mott MacDonald, the new Terminal 3 is a two-tier building spread over an area of 20 acres (8.1 ha), with the lower floor being the arrivals area, and the upper floor being a departures area. This terminal has 168 check-in counters, 78 aerobridges at 48 contact stands, 54 parking bays, 95 immigration counters, 15 X-ray screening areas, for less waiting times, duty-free shops, and other features. This new terminal was timed to be completed for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which was held in Delhi and is connected to Delhi by an eight-lane Delhi Gurgaon Expressway and the Delhi Metro. The terminal was officially inaugurated on 3 July 2010. All international airlines shifted their operations to the new terminal in late July 2010 and all full service domestic carriers in November 2010. The arrival area is equipped with 14 baggage carousels. T3 has India's first automated parking management and guidance system in a multi level car park, which comprises 7 levels and a capacity of 4,300 cars. Terminal 3 forms the first phase of the airport expansion which tentatively includes the construction of additional passenger & cargo terminals (Terminal 4, 5 & 6).
Domestic full-service airlines operate from the Terminal 3 including Air India, the national carrier and Jet Airways moved their domestic operations to the new terminal in November 2010. The Tata & Singapore Airlines airline joint-venture Vistara also operates from Terminal 3.
Terminals 4, 5 and 6Edit
Terminals 4, 5 and 6 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 three 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.
DIAL submitted a plan in 2016 to aviation secretary R N Choubey regarding expansion of airport with a new fourth runway and Terminal 4 in a phased manner. DIAL has reviewed and updated the Master Plan of Airport in 2016 in consultation with the Airports Authority of India. The terminal construction will start after completion on fourth runway and expansion of terminal 1 and 3.
The cargo terminal is located at a distance of 1 km (0.62 mi) from T3. It handles all the cargo operations. The cargo operations of the airport received "e-Asia 2007" award in 2007 for “Implementation of e- Commerce / Electronic Data Interchange in Air Cargo Sector”
Airlines and destinationsEdit
The nearest railway station is Palam railway station which is 18 km from New Delhi railway station. Several passenger trains runs regularly between these stations. Shahabad Mohammadpur (SMDP) is equally close.
The airport is served by the Delhi Airport Metro Express train line. The 22.7 km (14.1 mi) line runs from the Airport metro station located at Terminal 3 to the New Delhi metro station railway station with trains running every 10 minutes.
The airport is connected by the 8-lane Delhi Gurgaon Expressway. Air conditioned low-floor buses operated by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) regularly run between the airport and the city. Metered taxis are also available from terminals T3 and T1C to all areas of Delhi.
Awards and recognitionsEdit
- In 2015, Delhi Airport bags two awards for The Best Airport in Central Asia/India and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia/India at the prestigious Skytrax World Airport Awards.
- In 2015, Delhi Airport won the Best Airport award from the Airports Council International within 25–40 million annual passengers category.
- In 2015, it won the prestigious Golden Peacock National Quality Award given by the Institute of Directors (India).
- In 2016 The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has become Asia-Pacific’s only and one of the world’s few airports to achieve a carbon neutral status. The announcement in this regard was made by the Airports Council International (ACI) during the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate presentation ceremony to IGI in Montreal, Canada.
A Royal Nepal Airlines Fokker F27-200 (9N-AAR) after a flight from Kathmandu, Nepal was caught in severe thunderstorms with turbulence and downdrafts on final approach to Palam Airport. The pilot lost control of the aircraft and crashed short of the runway. Of the five crew and 18 passengers, one crew member was killed.
An Air India Boeing 747 flying on the London-Delhi-Mumbai route and carrying 215 people (195 passengers and 20 crew) touched down at Indira Gandhi International Airport after a flight from London Heathrow Airport. On application of reverse thrust, a failure of the no. 1 engine pylon to wing attachment caused this engine to tilt nose down. Hot exhaust gases caused a fire on the left wing. There were no casualties but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and written off.
Indian Airlines Flight 492 (IC 492), A Boeing 737-2A8 (Registered VT-ECS), damaged beyond repair when the aircraft overshot the runway at Delhi airport due to pilots error, on its scheduled flight from Jaipur to Delhi.
The airport was involved in the Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision when a Saudia Boeing 747-100B, climbing out after take-off, collided with an incoming Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 chartered by a fashion company, causing the deaths of all 349 people on board the two planes.
A major mishap was averted at Indira Gandhi International Airport when an Indigo flight 6E 769 and a Spice Jet flight SG 123 came face-to-face on the runway. However, no damage occurred as it was promptly flagged. The Spice Jet flight was following ATC instructions. While taxing, the Spice Jet crew observed another aircraft in the opposite direction.
On 7 July a jet blast from arriving SpiceJet flight SG-253 blew out the window of an Indigo Airlines bus, causing minor injuries to five bus passengers. 
On 9 August Ethiopian Airlines flight ET687, loaded with 196 passengers, was in the process of being pushed back from the gate by a tow tractor when the trailing edge of its right wing collided with the left winglet of a parked Air India A320, causing both planes to be grounded. 
Delhi Airport is the first airport in the world to be registered under Clean Development Mechanism of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The airport has a 7.84 MW solar plant installed alongside runway 29/11. GMR targets to increase generation capacity to 20MW by 2020.
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