Fliers continue flocking to grounded terminal
The domestic departure terminal 1B of Indira Gandhi International Airport was permanently closed for operations a week ago but air travellers are still landing up there, reports Sidhartha Roy.delhi Updated: May 19, 2009 23:43 IST
Old habits die hard. More so, if formed over 50 years.
The domestic departure terminal 1B of Indira Gandhi International Airport was permanently closed for operations a week ago but air travellers are still landing up there.
All seven airlines operating out of this WW-II- vintage terminal have now shifted to the new Terminal 1D.
Most passengers, however, remain ignorant of the change.
“I have always known this building as the Delhi Airport. I had no idea that it had been closed down,” said Rajeev Menon (35), who had to board a Delhi-Kochi flight in the morning.
“When I visited a couple of months ago, Terminal 1B was crowded and bustling as ever,” said Menon.
Airlines started shifting to the modern Terminal 1D — built at a cost of Rs 500 crore — a month ago, and the last three airlines shifted there on May 13.
Air India, Go Air, MDLR Airlines and Jagson Airlines, however, still operate out of Terminal 1A.
Terminal 1B has been sealed for security reasons from both the city side and the tarmac. A small notice on its glass doors, now boarded up, informs passengers that the building is not in operation anymore.
DIAL has deployed eight customised golf carts and a bus to ferry passengers from Terminal 1B and also between the other departure terminals and the arrival terminal.
“The golf cart doesn’t stop here for more than a few minutes. We ferry passengers from the old terminal to the new throughout the day,” said a golf cart driver.
“Many passengers first land up at the old terminal and then come to the new terminal. There should be better signage to guide them properly and save their time,” said an official of a budget carrier, who isn’t authorised to talk to the media.
“There are at least 20 signages of international standards to guide passengers but still many passengers come to 1B by habit,” said a spokesman of airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd.
“According to the new traffic plan, passengers have to drive straight for the departure terminals and turn right for the arrival terminal.
“We have also sent advisories to all airlines, travel agents’ associations, hotel associations and even travel desks of many corporate houses informing them of the change,” he said.