NEW DELHI: Construction of a Metro station will hit flight movement at the Delhi airport as one of the three runways will remain closed at night for two months from June.
Officials said Runway 9-27 will not be used at night due to the construction work on the Terminal 1 station that will involve high-lift cranes.
Sources told HT that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had sought restriction on plane movement so that they may use high-lift cranes to complete the project fast. Because of the site’s proximity to the runway, Metro has not been allowed to use heavy equipment.
Airport sources said the runway, which is used for both domestic and international flights, will remain closed at night between 11 pm and 5 am from the first week of June. Airport officials the closure of runway will not affect the travel schedule much but that may not be the case since most international flights operate in the night. Delhi airport has three runways — 9-27, 10-28 and 11-29 — and handles around 75 flights in an hour.
“This will not have any impact on operations. We can transfer the load during this duration to the other two runways. In case of any urgent requirement, the construction work will be suspended,” said a spokesperson DIAL, the airport operator. The spokesperson said that Runway 27 has been closed between 11pm and 5 am on several occasions over the past two years to facilitate work at the metro station.
Runway 10-28 was closed last month for a week, which affected the flight operations slightly. Runway 9-27 is the shortest of the three. This would delay the landing and take-off of international and domestic flights by a few minutes but would not affect the overall flight operations, said airport sources.
The DMRC work hopes to finish work on the Terminal 1 station — coming up as part of the Janakpuri-Botanical Garden line — in the next two-three months.
“The underground station is being constructed in front of the arrival hall but the train reversal facility will be in front of the runway 27. In the past two years, the runway was closed on several occasions and in coordination with airport operator we managed the air traffic well. We need to close it in June to complete the work and it should not affect the airport operation,” said a DMRC official.