Delhi airport the most inaccessible in India, increases overall travel time
In Delhi, with Chandni Chowk as the city centre, it takes 31 minutes to reach the airport. In traffic, the time taken shoots up to 76 minutes.delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2017 12:24 IST
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport, the busiest in the country, is also the worst to access by a car.
A study by the School of Planning and Architecture on ‘accessibility to airports’ finds that reaching Delhi airport is far more difficult compared to other cities.
Of the 60 airports surveyed, Delhi finished at the bottom when it came to variation in time taken to reach the airport “under different circumstances” due to slow speed.
The study calculated the time taken to reach the airport from the city centre. The difference between the minimum time and the maximum time was not much in smaller cities. In metro cities, the difference was almost double.
“In Delhi, we took Chandni Chowk as the city centre. With no traffic, it took 31 minutes to reach the airport. In traffic, it took 76 minutes. The variation was highest among the metro cities and as a result, air travellers do not take chances and leave early for the airport. This is also one of the reasons for congestion inside the airport as many a times, passengers reach early,” said Sewa Ram, professor, transport planning, SPA.
The study also states that the average car speed in 25km radius of the airport is lowest in Delhi.
“At least 60 airports were considered for the overall ranking of average speed of cars from the city centre to the airport. Average speed in Delhi is 20 kmph, lowest among all metro cities in India,” he added.
The average speed in 5 km radius of Delhi airport is 16.1 kmph and it increases after 12-13 km and then it remains constant till 20-22 km. Beyond that, the speed increases.
According to the study, Hyderabad airport has better speed of approach network because of a dedicated link. Within a network radius of 5-10 km, Indian airports have speeds around 15 kmph while in London and Tokyo the speeds are as high as 30 kmph and above 45-50 kmph after 15 kms of distance. Even in New York, which has a higher ratio of car per person as compared to Indian cities, the speed in the adjacent network of 5 km is 30 kmph and it increases to 40 kmph as one goes farther.
The study analysed different parameters for airport in terms of air connectivity, ground accessibility, reliability, access travel time and speeds of the influenced networks, the professor said.
“While air travel reduces the travel time, we tend to spend more time in accessing the airport and this increases overall travel time. The choice of mode of travel is decided on the basis of total travel time, total cost, comfort, and reliability,” Professor Ram said.
He added that apart from investing in airport infrastructure, authorities must also invest in ground access transport system to enable passengers to reach the airport in the desired time with high reliability. Airports in the US, Europe and South-East Asian countries have identified the network to the airport and kept them unclogged, Professor Ram said.
According to a 20-year forecast of International Air transport Association (IATA), India will displace the United Kingdom for the third spot in the total passenger traffic in 2027. After China, India is going to be the second biggest market for aviation industry by 2035.