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Small steps to IGI makeover

On April 4, the Airports Authority of India signed the Operation, Maintenance and Development Agreement (OMDA) with the GMR led consortium.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 02:16 IST

Decongest is the big word at the Delhi Airport. The simultaneous runways have been a step in that direction. The next is to rationalise the arrival and departure timings of domestic airlines, which at present are bunched up during peak hours.

In the short term, passengers will also see better infrastructure and a new facade for the domestic Terminal IB building. Finer details are being worked out, and the work is expected to start by this month end.

On April 4, the Airports Authority of India signed the Operation, Maintenance and Development Agreement (OMDA) with the GMR led consortium.

However, the brand new airport plan will take some time. According to officials, it will take at least 3 years. "The new airport will take time. There is not much construction one can do at the existing terminals apart from probably breaking down a wall here and constructing another somewhere else. The focus in the short term is to somehow restructure the flight operations and passenger facilities," said an official.

The AAI, a 26 per cent stakeholder, since the agreement signing, has held several meetings with the consortium to draw a blueprint for the short term. The immediate problem has been identified as congestion. AAI's simultaneous runways started days before the agreement was inked plans to increase flight operations to 60 landings/takeoffs an hour.

"But this will be a non starter if additional services like trolleys, toilets, immigration counters, parking bays are not improved or expanded. We will only end up saving fuel, but passengers who now spend time on the tarmac will face similar delays inside the terminal," said an official.