Delhi airport has emerged as favourite for passengers travelling to Europe, Asia and North America while Mumbai is preferred by those travelling to Middle East and Africa. An air traffic report prepared by Delhi airport revealed that foreign tourists prefer arriving at Delhi.
The annual traffic report also revealed that Delhi is the most connected airport as it served to 129 destinations while second was Mumbai with 90 destinations. As per the Bureau of Immigration figure, 29.60% of the tourists arrived in Delhi, 18.20% in Mumbai and 8. 4% in Chennai. Delhi airport’s growth is largely due to increased in international traffic, which has grown from 14.15M in 2015-16 to 15.20M in 2016-17.
The Delhi airport has a major market share of air traffic volume to the Middle East, European, Asian and American regions. It has an annual passenger capacity of over 62 million, including Terminal-3 that can handle 34 million passengers. The airport handles over one lakh passengers every day and aircraft movements have also increased. Almost 1,185 arrivals/departures took place from here every day.
“The addition of new routes in domestic and international sectors by major airlines has helped Delhi airport emerge as a leading hub airport. Airlines are attracted to Delhi airport as we have a large catchment area and unlike other Indian airports, we have virtually no constraints as far as accommodating future growth is concerned. Execution of the expansion works as per the proposed Master Plan will further enhance the facilities enabling air traffic to grow at a faster pace,” said I Prabhakara Rao, CEO-DIAL.
As domestic airlines, especially budget carriers, are growing at a faster rate, DIAL has decided to double the capacity of Terminal 1, which now caters to only low-cost carriers. “We will expand it and in the next three years, the capacity of T-1 will increase from 15 million per annum to 30 million per annum,” Rao had said.
With traffic growth at almost 20%, airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is changing the master plan to increase the capacity of the terminal and the airside. The new ATC tower and fourth runway will help reduce congestion in the air and handle more flights.
The Delhi airport, which already has three runways, will become the first airport in the country to have a fourth runway, with construction likely to start this year. Airport officials are expecting to commission the fourth runway by 2018, which will take the per hour capacity of Delhi airport from 75 flights to 105.
Last year, Delhi airport broke its own record of highest flight movements in one hour when it handled 82 flights in 60 minutes on November 16. The Air Traffic Controller (ATC) handled 40 landings and 42 take-offs between 11 am and noon on that day, and broke its previous record of 77 flight movements in an hour, officials said.
Also, for the first time, the airport crossed the 50-million passenger mark in a year, with 55.65 million passengers, almost 10 million more than the previous year.