The Ministry of Civil Aviation is likely to decide by the end of this month which of the three low-cost airlines operating from Delhi airport’s Terminal 1 should be shifted to the renovated Terminal 2.
The airport operator wants to shift two of the three airlines - Indigo, SpiceJet, GoAir - to another terminal temporarily to be able to expand and decongest Terminal 1.
“There are some operational issues, which are being discussed at this stage. The airlines want to operate from a terminal where an aircraft doesn’t have to taxi for too long as it leads to wastage of fuel,” said an official of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator. T1 is close to runway 28 while T3 is near runway 29. “T2 is also close to runway 29 but chances are that international airlines and full-cost domestic carriers will get a priority. We have four to five options and are hopeful of sorting out the issue by month-end,” he said.
International flights used to operate from T2 before T3 was commissioned in 2010. Since then T2 was lying abandoned and used to handle Haj operations once a year.
The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) took up the renovation work a year ago and it has been completed but airlines are reluctant to shift there fearing a rise in operational cost.
Currently, Indigo, SpiceJet and GoAir operate their domestic flights from T1. Though the initial plan was to shift SpiceJet and GoAir to T2, the airlines refused. Later, it was planned to shift only Indigo and allow the other two to operate from T1.
“Once the airlines are shifted, we will start with the expansion of Terminal 1. In the next three years, the capacity of T1 will increase from 15 million per annum to 30 million per annum,” said an airport official. T1 is built on 53,000 sq m area. After the expansion, it will be spread over 133,000 sq m. Ten aerobridges will be constructed and the number of boarding gates will be increased from eight to 25.
Post expansion, DIAL will construct Terminal 4, in the area where Terminal 2 is currently located. Terminal 4 will cater to full-service domestic carriers such as Air India and Jet Airways.
Once T-4 is constructed, full-service domestic operations of Jet Airways and Air India and other such airlines will be shifted there and T-3 will only deal with the international flight operations.