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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Expansion work of Delhi’s IGI airport may begin by March-end

The expansion of Delhi’s IGI airport is aimed to meet the rapid traffic growth that has already made it Asia’s seventh busiest airport.

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2019 13:34 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The operator of Delhi’s IGI airport has received three bids for its expansion which is aimed at meeting the rapid traffic at the airport.
The operator of Delhi’s IGI airport has received three bids for its expansion which is aimed at meeting the rapid traffic at the airport. (HT File )

The much-awaited expansion of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is expected to begin by March-end as the airport operator has received three bids for the R 9,000-crore project, two officials familiar with the matter said.

Two bids are from foreign companies while one is from an Indian firm. The airport operator, the GMR Group-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), is expected to finalise the bidder this week.

After the announcement, the successful bidder is expected to take around two months to mobilise the workforce and begin expansion work.

The bid document says the selected company has to complete work in 42 months. All the three bidders are reported to have quoted 39 months, the sources said.

The expansion is aimed to meet the rapid traffic growth that has already made IGI Asia’s seventh busiest airport. The selected company will work on the expansion of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 and the construction of a new runway and taxiways. Roads leading to the airport will be widened and new approach roads will be built.

The operator expects the expansion, which will start with Terminal 1, to be completed by 2021 — taking the overall handling capacity of the airport to 85 million passengers per year from the current 70 million.

It will be followed by Phase 2 of the expansion, which includes construction of another brand new terminal.

Data released last year by Airports Council International, the trade grouping of world airports, showed that Delhi, the country’s busiest airport by passenger traffic, grew 14.1% year on year to 63.45 million in 2017. It was the first time it breached the 60-million passenger mark. In 2018, it was just below 70-million mark.

The new air traffic control (ATC) tower, which will open in 2019, and the fourth runway, to be launched in 2021, would help it reduce air congestion and handle more flights.

DIAL hadn’t responded as of press time Thursday to an email sent to it on January 21 seeking comment.

The master plan will be implemented in three modular phases — phase 3A (2018-21), 3 B (2021-25) and Phase 4 (2026 onwards).

“Terminal 1 handles domestic traffic for low-cost carriers. These have registered a phenomenal growth in the last few years, calling for an expansion of the terminal. Delhi Metro under its Phase 3 programme is connecting this terminal to catchment areas of central and south Delhi. Since T1 is operating beyond its capacity, the expansion will begin from there and cover the airside, terminal building and city side,” said a DIAL official, quoting the tender documents, who asked not to be identified.

Departure Terminal T1D and arrival Terminal T1C will be merged and expanded to accommodate 40 million passengers per year. According to the Master Plan, T1’s capacity will increase from 20 million to 40 million and that of Terminal 3 from 34 million to 45 million.

Inter-terminal connectivity through the Airport Metro between T1 and T3 is also part of the expansion plan.

“The expansion work will be carried out alongside flight operations at T1. Certain areas of T1 and city side will operate at a lower capacity due to shifting of traffic to Terminal 2 to ease operational pressure and facilitate construction work,” the DIAL official added.

DIAL has appointed AECOM, a design and development consultant for infrastructure projects, to complete the preliminary design for the expansion work.

First Published: Feb 01, 2019 13:33 IST