As passenger traffic continues to grow faster than expected, the Delhi airport operator has started expansion of Terminal 3.
From additional immigration counters to expansion of terminals, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is making all necessary changes to accommodate the increasing rush.
“The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has decided to increase the number of immigration counters to reduce the waiting time. Similarly, at the security check where passengers put electronic items in the tray, travellers complained about lack of space. The design of the area will be changed to accommodate more passengers. The terminals are being expanded keeping in mind the traffic load expected in the next 20 years. The capacity of the airside is also being increased,” said an airport official, requesting anonymity.
Delhi airport has 130 immigration counters and about 40 security check counters at Terminal 3. Sources said that the airport is planning to add at least 30 immigration counters while decongestion at the security check will be tackled through design change.
“At security check, the problem is not of the waiting time but of chaos while putting electronic items in the tray. The length of baggage roller will be increased and an extra table will be put giving more space to passengers,” the airport source said.
Together the two terminals of Delhi airport — T1 and T3 — have a capacity to handle 62 million passengers per annum.
Last year, the airport handled one crore extra passengers than it did in the previous year but the infrastructure during the period remained the same.
As a result, passengers frequently complained of congestion at the terminals and longer waiting time at the security and immigration checks.
DIAL will also start the expansion of T1, which operates at double its capacity and a new terminal and a new runway is being planned at T4 to manage the load.
To expand Terminal 1, DIAL plans to shift two domestic low cost carriers to Terminal 2. As domestic airlines, especially the budget carriers are growing faster, DIAL has decided to double the capacity of Terminal 1, which caters only to low-cost carriers. “We will expand it and in the next three years, the capacity of T1 will increase from 15 million per annum to 30 million per annum,” DIAL had said.
“Master Plan 2016 proposes expansion of passenger handling capacity of IGI Airport from existing 62 million passengers per annum to 109.3 million passengers per annum in a phased manner. There are a number of ongoing projects at Terminal 3 to enhance capacity. These also include expansion of immigration counters among others,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
Airport officials credited the growth to new airlines and the price war between them. Passenger movement at IGIA started picking up after 2010-11 when the airport handled almost 30 million passengers in a year. There was a significant rise of 19.8% in 2011-12 when the airport handled 35.88 million passengers but year 2012-13 was not that good as passenger traffic dipped by 4.2% and reached to 34.36 million.
The airport handled 55.6 million in 2016 and the number is likely to cross the capacity of the two terminals this year. Against the 1,050 average flight movements per day in 2015, the number rose to 1,185 flights per day.