Continuous power fluctuations at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Tuesday hampered operations and caused inconvenience to passengers.
“There was a problem with the airport’s power supply between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Even though the power came back within a few minutes, the constant fluctuation badly affected work,” said the senior official of an airline, requesting anonymity. Though both the international and domestic terminals faced power problems, critical operations at the airside and the air traffic control were not affected.
Due to power fluctuations, the computer systems of airlines were not working properly. “The computer system started functioning erratically due to fluctuations, which slowed down operations. We couldn’t print any boarding passes and most work had to be done manually,” he said.
Though the airport’s backup power system, run by generator sets, kicked into action immediately after each power cut, normal operations got affected.
“Despite the backup power, the air-conditioning and lighting system didn't work properly during this period. The conveyor belts, too, were not functioning properly,” the official said.
“There was a problem at the Mahipalpur Sub station, from where power is supplied to the airport,” said an airport official, who didn't wish to be named.
Private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) couldn't be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.
The airport is supposed to receive uninterrupted power supply from BSES Rajdhani and has a generator based backup power supply.
The backup, however, is not enough to run smooth operations at an international airport handling more than 350 flights every day.
IGI Airport consumes 3 lakh Kilowatt (KW) of power every day on average. The backup gensets at the airport can generate 20,000 KW of power at any given point of time.