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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Brown carpet no more, Delhi airport terminal 3’s aesthetic bone of contention to be rolled up

The brown carpet at Delhi airport’s Terminal 3 also made it tough for security officials to walk the dog squad for bomb detection.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2018 08:50 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The carpet had received poor feedback from flyers who said it slowed down movement of luggage.
The carpet had received poor feedback from flyers who said it slowed down movement of luggage.(HT Photo)

Eight years after the carpet at Delhi airport’s Terminal 3 set off a divisive public debate on aesthetics — making it one of the most discussed public installations in the national Capital — it is set to be removed, according to two officials familiar with the development.

Terminal 3 will soon have no carpeting of any kind, and will install a new hard floor, a spokesperson for Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said on Thursday.

A second DIAL official, who asked not to be identified, said that the carpet, spread over 170,000 square metres, was manufactured in Mulshi, near Pune, and was transported to Delhi in pieces.

The spokesperson said the process of removing the carpet will start in late October end and will be completed in a phased manner by the end of year. “We have proactively initiated the process of replacing the existing carpet with hard flooring in the passenger movement area along the piers in a phased manner.”

We have chosen a solution which is designed for heavy passenger loads, as observed in airports. Post-completion, this will enhance the overall passenger experience, especially while dragging strollers in between the travellators (moving walkways). This work is likely to start before the end of October,” the spokesperson for DIAL said.

While the official pointed to reasons such as passengers complaining about the slow movement of luggage trolleys and security officials complaining about difficulties in walking the dog squad for bomb detection, there were several other complaints against the brown-beige carpet -- most of them revolving around its colour and pattern.

Visitors to Terminal 3 routinely posted their views on the carpet on social media, and some of them even wrote to DIAL and to the Union civil aviation ministry.

One of these complaints, posted on Twitter on August 18, elicited a reply from minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha.

“T3 at Delhi needs massive makeover. Almost all passengers want the dirty rugs to go. Please, let us not fall prey to a sunk investment fallacy. It is very inconvenient and now, stingingly smelly also, to walk to the boarding gates,” Suvash Gupta wrote. This prompted Sinha to ask the Delhi airport for a follow-up.

Gupta also pointed out that “most good, busy airports across the world use hard flooring, as much as possible. Easy for passengers, easy for luggage, easy to clean and maintain”.

“Thank you for the feedback. We have initiated the design and implementation process for the replacement of carpet with hard flooring in the passenger movement area along the piers in a phased manner,” DIAL wrote on twitter on August 23 in response to Gupta’s complaint.

Terminal-3 is spread across 5.4 million sq ft. The integrated terminal was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 3, 2010 and it commenced full international operations from July 28, 2010 onwards. The carpet was in place at the time of inauguration.

Delhi airport handled 65.6 million passengers in 2017-18, of which about 40 million use T3.

It has been adjudged the World’s best Airport by Airports Council International’s (ACI) in 2017 in the category of above 40 million passengers per annum (mppa). The passenger Terminals managed by DIAL are recognised for their state-of-the-art infrastructure, design and operational efficiency.

T3 serves as a hub for many carriers and has truly redefined the way Indian passengers fly. Delhi Airport is a leading Indian airport both in Passenger and Cargo capabilities with an annual traffic of 63.5 mppa in 2017.

DIAL has also won the Hermes Platinum award in Social media Campaign category, for the campaign #CreatingTomorrowTogether.

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 01:33 IST