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IGI makeover only skin deep, says survey

The Delhi airport has come a long way from its dreary, shabby and cramped avatar. However, in spite of its swanky and refurbished terminals, passengers believe there is still much room for improvement.

delhi Updated: May 05, 2010 00:36 IST
Sidhartha Roy

The Delhi airport has come a long way from its dreary, shabby and cramped avatar. However, in spite of its swanky and refurbished terminals, passengers believe there is still much room for improvement.

According to passenger feedback by the private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) that is renovating and running the airport, the facilities belie the international tag.

Passengers have commented have commented the airport has improved a lot in the last three years but basic facilities like drinking water and clean toilets are sore points.

Other complaints include inaudible flight information announcements, inefficient air conditioning and lack of enough buses for transfer between terminals, among other things.

At least 60,000 passengers travel through the Delhi airport every day. Handling 700 flights in a day, this is the busiest airport in the country.

Lack of drinking water is a persistent problem at the international terminal due to unavailability of enough dispensers. “We bring drinking water in bottles from home but passengers have no option but to buy mineral water,” said a senior official of an international airline who didn’t wish to be identified.

“There is no drinking water available at the airport for past few months,” said Pankaj Agarwal, a frequent flyer and General Secretary of the Delhi RWAs Joint Front. “The airport has improved a lot but number of flyers too have increased.” Next on the crib list is unclean toilets. “More cleanliness should be maintained in the toilets,” T.S. Satish Kumar, a Delhi resident has commented in a feedback kiosk at the airport.

DIAL receives comments, suggestions and complaints from passengers through large number of feedback kiosks installed at all terminals.

But in reponse to HT email, DIAL on Tuesday said that there is no problem with the announcement system. The airport operator, however, didn’t respond to queries regarding lack of drinking water and unclean toilets.

“We get regular complaints from passengers about lack of drinking water at IGI Airport. They have to pay exorbitant prices to buy bottled water,” said Sudhakar Reddy, President of Air Passengers Association of India, a non-profit organisation. “Lack of proper signages is another problem at the airport.”