After hosting the world's biggest passenger airliner, the Delhi airport is ready to handle the largest cargo aircraft from November.
"DIAL is all set to become the first airport in the country to play host to the first ever code-F scheduled cargo aircraft 747-8 -- the only code-F aircraft in Boeing's fleet. British Airways is expected to commence its operations from first week of November," a DIAL spokesperson said.
The airlines will operate on London Stansted-Hong Kong-Delhi route.
Last year in July, Emirates successfully operated an A-380 commercial flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here which is equipped to handle operations of such large Code-F aircraft, he said.
"Terminal-3 and its associated facilities were built for code F compliant. Our runway 11/29, connected taxiway and cross taxiways are code F compliant with a larger object clearance to accommodate the Code-F aircraft," the spokesperson said.
Cargo handled at IGIA has gone up to 0.6 million metric tonnes annually in 2010-11 from 0.3 million metric tonnes in 2006-07.
At present, Delhi airport handles an average 10 to 20 freighters per day. This is due to a more effective and efficient system now than it was in 2006-07.
The introduction of 100% Electronic data Interchange (EDI) at the international side, a Common User Domestic Cargo Terminal (CUDCT) and organised trucking services have all contributed to more efficient processes, he said.
Apart from it, three new parking bays have also been introduced.
The forecast for cargo growth is 15% and DIAL aims to touch one mn metric tonne mark by 2014-15.
Boeing launched the 747-8 Family with orders for the freighter in November 2005 from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines, after considerable study of the market feasibility of a new 747.