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Delhi airport all set for a makeover

india Updated: Nov 08, 2006 04:31 IST
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Delhi's domestic airport will be transformed in a few years. It will have a new common terminal for domestic and international flights, an exclusive terminal for low-cost carriers, and a third runway big enough to handle large aircraft like the Airbus A380s.

The GMR-led consortium Delhi International Airport Pvt Limited (DIAL) says its master plan for the new airport will be ready in "the next 20 days to one month".

Srinivas Bommidala, managing director, DIAL, said: "We have submitted our master plan to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The first phase of the project will be completed well before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It will have the capacity to cater to 37 million passengers per year."

Currently, Delhi airport handles 16.2 million passengers annually.

DIAL is a joint-venture company comprising the Bangalore-based GMR Group, the AAI, Fraport (Frankfurt Airport), Malaysian Airport and the India Development Fund.

The dispute over the award of the contracts for modernising the Delhi and Mumbai airports — to consortia led by GMR and GVK respectively — was settled on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court upheld the government's decision to award the contracts. It dismissed an appeal by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Airports Developers which had challenged the Delhi High Court verdict upholding the contracts.

At the Delhi airport, DIAL will construct a new runway alongside the existing runways — 9-27 and 10-28. The 4,400-metre-long runway will be the longest in the country and be able to handle large aircraft like the Airbus A-380s. Bommidala said it would be ready by March 2008.

The terminal for both domestic and international flights will be ready by March 2010. It will be spread across 4.4 lakh sq m.

Before that DIAL will construct a new terminal — 1C — between the existing terminals 1A and 1B. Currently, terminal 1A is used mainly by Indian Airlines (Indian), while 1B is mainly used by private airlines. 1C is expected to be ready by March 2008.

Bommidala said after the construction of the new international-cum-domestic terminal, a single terminal would be created exclusively for low-cost carriers by merging terminals 1A and 1C.

The existing terminal at the international airport will be shut down after 2010. The other existing terminal at the domestic airport — 1B — will be converted into a cargo area.

It is estimated that by 2010, 730 flights will take off and land every day at the Delhi airport, against the current figure of 500.

Email gaurav .choudhury@hindustantimes.com

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