New Delhi airport gears up for winter schedule

The Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi is gearing up for the winter schedule. The airport, which handles the maximum traffic in the country and is also the largest by area, is activating Terminal 1 starting October 31, 2021. All three terminals will then be operational, for the first time since the pandemic began!

All of this is part of the expansion to increase its annual capacity to 100 million passengers from 66 million currently. The airport has been performing better than its peers even during COVID, with the data for September showing the airport taking a bigger leap than others.

Investing in the future?

The airport will operationalise runway 09/27 which has been closed for resurfacing work. The runway will be operational at 1500hrs local time on December 02, 2021. 

The airport will also take up maintenance work for Runway 10/28 and Runway 11/29 to make the most of reduced traffic at night as most International flights remain suspended.

Runway 10/28 will be closed for operations for six hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 2300hours local time to 0500hours local time the next day. This closure will continue till November 29, 2021. Runway 11/29 will be closed for operations for six hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 2300hours local time to 0500hours local time the next day. This closure will continue till November 30, 2021. 

However, in case of emergency the runways can be made available in 30 minutes.

The airport is also investing into a fourth runway, which will not allow simultaneous operations with runway 11/29 but will ensure that they can be used in tandem and won’t impact overall air traffic movements when one of the runways is closed for maintenance. The country’s first elevated taxiway is also under construction and will help ensure there is balanced use of runways without delays in taxing. The construction is nearly 50% complete.

Terminal Change

Terminal 1 has been undergoing a monumental change at Delhi Airport. The terminal will be remodelled and will have contact gates, while there were none currently. The work is still ongoing but the increased footfall at the airport means that the airport has to operationalise all available terminals.

IndiGo – India’s largest carrier by fleet and domestic market share, which has a large hub at Delhi will also be the most impacted with the opening of T1. The airlines’ operations will be split across three terminals, making connections challenging. While LCCs have traditionally been offering point-to-point services, India is different and IndiGo offers multiple connections across its network. 

IndiGo flights with flight numbers 6E101 – 6E999 and 6E6000 – 6E7999 will operate from Terminal 1, 6E2000 – 6E2999 from Terminal 2, 6E5000 – 6E5999 from Terminal 3! All international flights will continue to operate from T3.

For SpiceJet, the operations will be split across two terminals. SG8000 – SG8999 will operate from T3, while all others will operate from T1. All international flights will continue to operate from T3.

Go First will see all its domestic flights from T2, while international from T3.

Tail Note

The airport has some interesting plans for the future. DIAL plans to raze T2 and construct T4 which will consolidate all international operations. This will free up T3 for domestic operations. All of this is expected to materialise in batches, starting with commissioning of a fourth runway, elevated taxiway and newly modelled T1 by September 2023.

The airport is racing against time to compete with Jewar Airport! Part of this plan has been to commission additional stands, move the general aviation to a dedicated apron with terminal and re-model the apron at T1 to accommodate contact gates and additional bays. 

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