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Wait longer for new terminal

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2009 23:54 IST
Sidhartha Roy
Sidhartha Roy
Hindustan Times
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Delhi airport’s upcoming Terminal 3 should be ready by March 2010.

Spread over 5 million square feet, the two-tier building would cater to both international and domestic flights.

That, however, might only begin when the Commonwealth Games comes to an end. The Games are scheduled to start on October 3 and end on October 14 and during this period, Terminal 3 would be solely reserved for athletes and officials visiting Delhi for the Games.

In a news conference on Monday, Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal had said that Terminal 3 would be exclusively reserved for Commonwealth Games visitors for security reasons.

Sources at the airport said that while earlier it was planned that all international airlines and full-cost domestic airlines will be able to shift to Terminal 3 after April 2010, this plan might now change keeping in mind security considerations.

“Terminal 3 would be constructed by March next year and then trial runs would go on for about three months. After this Commonwealth Games officials would start arriving in Delhi,” said a senior airport official who refused to be identified, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The existing international terminal 2 would handle all international flights till the Commonwealth Games are over and after mid-October, the 60 odd airlines would start shifting to the new terminal in phases.

“While the Games are on, both the new and existing terminals would function as Terminal 3 is now planned to be used solely by athletes and Games officials,” he said.

After international airlines shift to Terminal 3, it would be the turn of domestic full-cost carriers to move out of terminal 1D.

“Domestic budget carriers would keep operating from domestic departure terminal 1D,” he said.

“The transfer will definitely take some time as 70 international and domestic airlines will have to shift their counters and back offices to Terminal 3,” he said.

If Terminal 3 is used exclusively for the Games, all airlines might be able to shift to the new terminal only by December or even January 2011.

The spokesman of private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd, however, said that as of now, it plans to use Terminal 3 for both Games officials and athletes and other passengers.

“We would earmark a special area at Terminal 3 for Games guests where they can get accreditation and other facilitation,” he said.