There is some good news and some bad news for air travellers to and from Delhi. Those taking domestic flights out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) can look forward to faster departures now. But those arriving had better brace for long periods of hovering in the air above the airport, or taxiing endlessly after landing. The main runway — called 28/10 — has been closed since April 2 for repairs. All aircraft now touch down at IGIA’s third runway 29/11, and take off from secondary runway 27/09. The problem is Runway 29/11 is so far away from the domestic terminal that all landing aircraft have to taxi nine km to reach the parking bays.
The take off runway, 27/09, on the other hand, is right next to the domestic airport area and it takes only about five-10 minutes time for the aircraft to reach there from the parking bays. Before runway 28/10 was closed, 28/10 and 29/11 were being used for landings.
Runway 28/10 is fairly close to the domestic terminals.
“Flights were landing at the third runway earlier too. But a larger number used the main runway 28/10,” said a senior airline official, who did not want to be identified.
“Now all flights have to land at the far away runway.” Runway 29/11 and 27/09 cannot both be used for landings and take offs as they are not parallel.
“Since the two are not parallel, the centre line of runway 27 converges with that of runway 29,” said a senior air traffic controller.
“This means a plane will not take off from runway 27 when another plane is landing on runway 29 due to safety reasons.” Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. said repair work would be completed by September end and measures were being taken to reduce delays.