A smooth drive to airport

The road to Delhi's domestic airport could be confusing for first-timers and chaotic for most air travelers. A traffic plan, to be implemented once the new domestic departure terminal opens in March, promises to end all such problems, reports Sidhartha Roy.
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Updated on Feb 23, 2009 12:08 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | BySidhartha Roy, New Delhi

The road to Delhi's domestic airport could be confusing for first-timers and chaotic for most air travelers. A traffic plan, to be implemented once the new domestic departure terminal opens in March, promises to end all such problems.

Unless you are a Delhi resident and a frequent flyer, driving down to the domestic airport could be a baffling experience. After you take the Airport road from the NH-8 and approach the domestic terminals, three different turns greet you some distance after the Dwarka roundabout.

The first one would take you to the Delhi cantonment, the second one to the domestic arrival terminal 1C and departure terminal 1B. And driving down straight, you will end up at departure terminal 1A, from where Air India (domestic), Kingfisher and MDLR Airlines operate. One wrong turn means a long detour from the Dwarka roundabout.

"Only those who frequent the airport know where to turn and which road to take. First-timers always get confused," said Pankaj Aggarwal, a chartered accountant and a frequent flier.

"Once my driver took a wrong turn and I ended up at the wrong departure terminal. As the roads are narrow, traffic gets slow at peak hours and it took us quite sometime to reach the right terminal," said the Safdarjung Enclave resident.

Aggarwal said that there should be better signages at the tri-junction. "Signages are there even now but more are needed. Also, the airport authorities could put up traffic marshals," he said.

Things, however, are finally taking a right turn with the commissioning of a new domestic departure terminal (1D). Along with the opening of this terminal, which is expected to be from March 25, the traffic layout to the domestic terminals will also change.

At present the arrival terminal is between the two departure buildings. As a result, the road traffic going to these terminals get mixed, leading to traffic congestion outside the terminals.

"Now both departure buildings will be adjacent to each other and the arrival terminal would be some distance away. Traffic for the respective terminals will get segregated and this would result in smooth movement of vehicles outside the airport," said a spokesman of the airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL).

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