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Where’s the new airport terminal?

Old habits die hard. More so if they are formed over a period of 25 years. HT reports

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2010 23:57 IST
Sidhartha Roy

Old habits die hard. More so if they are formed over a period of 25 years.

The old international Terminal 2 of Indira Gandhi International Airport was closed on Wednesday and all international flight operations were shifted to the new Terminal 3. Passengers, however, are still landing up at the mothballed Terminal 2 and getting late for their flights.

“I didn’t know where the new airport building has come up and I got down at the old terminal. It took me sometime to know that the old terminal is now closed as there were no notices,” said Moti Deen Sharma, who had to take a flight to Oman.

Apart from passenger's ignorance, the lack of enough signage and information boards is also to blame.

Though private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) had assured that there would be enough signage to guide passengers to the correct terminal, the reality is different.

From the point at NH 8, near Radisson Hotel, where passengers turn towards the airport and till the roundabout where two different roads lead to T3 and T2, there are no visible signage to guide passengers. There is a huge signboard after the roundabout but those who miss it, head directly towards the closed terminal.

Though passengers from Delhi are still aware about T3, thanks to media coverage, those coming from nearby towns have no clue.

“I have come from Aligarh to take a flight to Dubai and I had no idea about a new terminal,” said Abdul Rashid, a passenger.

“There are many passengers who are getting confused and ending up late at T3, especially those who come from Punjab, UP and Haryana,” said a senior Air India official, who didn't wish to be named.

“There are signages to guide passengers and we will install some more,” said a DIAL spokesman.

“We have also deployed vehicles to ferry passengers from T2 to T3,” he said.

Technical glitches continued at T3 on its third day of operation and a power cut only made matters worse. Due to frequent tripping of power, conveyor belts, escalators, elevators and travelators came to a halt at the new terminal on Friday afternoon.

“Operations were smoother compared to the first two days but the baggage claim process is still very slow,” said an airline official, wishing to remain anonymous.