Arrival area of Delhi airport’s T3 floods, over 100 flights delayed
The intense rain on Saturday left Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in complete disarray, flooding the arrival area in Terminal 3 as well as the apron (where aircraft are parked), even as over 100 flights were delayed and five diverted.
Videos from the airport recorded by fliers did the rounds on social media throughout the day, as officials said rainwater leaked into Terminal 3 from at least four spots on the roof.
Officials of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) — the airport operator — attributed the waterlogging inside the terminal to “a steep gradient” between Terminal 3 and National Highway 48 adjoining it.
Jai, a flyer at the airport who goes by a single name, said his morning flight to Mumbai was delayed by two hours due to the weather. “I booked an early morning flight so that I could attend a meeting in the afternoon, but the delay disrupted my day completely,” he said.
Of the five flights that were diverted, four were landed in Jaipur and the other landed in Ahmedabad, said airport officials.
Three IndiGo flights —to Lucknow, Indore and Hyderabad — were also cancelled.
A DIAL spokesperson said, “Delhi has been witnessing record-breaking rain since last evening. This morning [Saturday], due to sudden extremely intense downpour, the forecourt of Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport saw some waterlogging, which was cleared within a few minutes.”
“Due to a steep gradient, the entire area between NH-48 and Terminal 3 acts as a catchment and drains water towards the terminal. This water is eventually carried by the city’s underground drainage system from Terminal 3 to Najafgarh drain,” said the official.
The airport’s forecourt flooded in October 2019 as well after an intense spell of rain.
Spokespersons, however, maintained that no passengers missed their flight due to the waterlogged forecourt.
Officials, who asked not to be named, said the drainage system from T3 to Najafgarh drain needs to be widened. “Several discussions in this matter have already taken place. We hope it will be widened soon,” the official added.
The roads leading to the airport and the Aerocity area were severely waterlogged too. An underpass leading to the airport was heavily waterlogged too, leading the traffic police to divert the traffic from there.
State Public Works Department officials confirmed that the underpass leading to the airport was waterlogged, because of which the traffic there was diverted onto the other roads. “Traffic jams were reported from other stretches too. We managed to clear out the water at the underpass within an hour, but traffic had to be stopped there for longer due to excessive rainfall,” said the official.
During the day, passengers shared pictures of the apron area too which showed waterlogging there as well. An airport staffer said that they cleared up the area within half an hour. The bad weather also affected flight operations at the airport, with airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet requesting passengers to track their flight status before leaving for the airport.
SpiceJet tweeted, “#WeatherUpdate: Due to bad weather in Delhi (DEL), all departures/arrivals and their consequential flights may get affected. Passengers are requested to keep a check on their flight status.” The other airlines made similar posts on the Twitter handles to alert the passengers.