Despite a slew of promised measures and the intervention of the Civil Aviation Ministry, the Indira Gandhi International Airport remains an accident-prone area.
In a recent incident on the airside near the domestic terminals, a car of Kingfisher Airlines hit an Air India Ambulift, which was carrying passengers. The incident happened on July 12, at around 9.30 pm near bay 32.
According to sources, the Kingfisher vehicle was going towards Terminal 1A from Bay 126 when the Ambulift, which was driving ahead, suddenly took a left turn and the vehicles collided. “The Estillo was dragged for approximately 10 feet after the impact and its right side was damaged,” he said. Thankfully, neither the passengers or the drivers were injured in the incident.
“The accident could have taken a much more serious turn as the Ambulift was carrying passengers from an aircraft to the arrival terminal. It is the airport operator’s duty to regulate traffic in the airside but there is not enough vigil,” an airport source claimed.
Confirming the incident, a senior Kingfisher official said the car only suffered dents and no one was injured. Air India’s spokesman, however, could not confirm the incident.
Incidents where vehicles have rammed into other vehicles and even aircraft are common at IGIA. There have also been incidents of airport personnel being injured by speeding vehicles.
All vehicles inside the airport area cannot speed beyond 15 kmph but sources said the rule is hardly followed. “There is absolutely no monitoring by the Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. at all, it is virtually a free-for-all inside the 5,100 acre IGI Airport,” said a senior airline official.
He said traffic in the airside is not regulated and unlike city roads, drivers have to keep a constant eye on both left and right side for any oncoming vehicle. “The air side management of DIAL, which was earlier called ground and flight safety department, is responsible for keeping a strict vigil on over-speeding and lane driving by vehicles and that all personnel wear reflector jackets. However, they have been lacking in that,” said another source.