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Delhi airport to expand capacity

Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) is working on a detailed plan to decongest its domestic terminals, 1D and 1C, used by low cost airlines, and expand facilities to meet the projected traffic growth to 100 million by 2033.

These were discussed at a meeting between airport officials and on Thursday, in the wake of passenger complaints on  overcrowding at Terminal 1 (which has 1D for departures and 1C for arrivals).

The airport, the busiest in the country, handled 41 million passengers in 2014-15. About 26 million were handled at the T3 terminal and the rest at T1. While T3 is designed for a capacity of 34 million annually, T1 can handle 16 million. The latter, used by IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet, is reaching saturation point.

Terminal 1 will be eventually expanded to handle 30 million passengers annually. The immediate plans include creation of additional boarding gates, bus piers and extra security frisking counters, sources said. DIAL did not respond to email queries.

Traffic in Delhi has grown 70 per cent in seven years. It handled 24 million passengers in 2007-08. During the period, domestic traffic grew 63 percent to 27.5 million and  international traffic by 87.5 per cent to 13.5 million. DIAL estimates traffic will cross 100 million by 2033 and 70 per cent of this will be domestic.

A review of the 2006 plan has been done and a new one prepared. T1’s handling capacity is to be raised to 30 million and T3’s  to 45 million a year. It will also see construction of a new terminal, T4, to handle 34 million domestic passengers, and a fourth runway. DIAL has not disclosed how it intends to use terminal 1A and its old international terminal,  neither being in regular use.

Terminal 1D, the low-cost terminal, will be extended over the old Udaan Bhavan within the airport complex to increase departure handling capacity to 15 million. Also, 1C will be expanded to handle 15 million arrivals. Ten aerobridges and a six-level car parkare proposed to be built in this terminal.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation estimates  traffic growth  to be faster than projected by DIAL. It expects traffic to reach 90 million by 2023-24.

“CAPA sees the need for a second operational airport in the National Capital Region by FY23 and expects the government to fast-track the progress on a second airport. It is unfortunate that the earlier identified land in Jewar, Noida, was not acquired; it will (now) be more expensive to acquire this land parcel,” it said.

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