Delhi airport expects 72 mn passenger traffic this fiscal

- March 10, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

As per the latest data from the Airports Authority of India, the airport handled 60.8 million passengers in April-January, up 14% on year. This is also 5% higher than the 57.8 million passengers witnessed at the airport in the pre-covid period of April-January 2019-2020

The Delhi airport is expected to handle more than 72 million passengers in the current fiscal ending March 31, marking the highest-ever annual traffic. The expanded Terminal 1, with a capacity increased to 40 million from 17 million, was inaugurated virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Its total area has now tripled to 2,06,950 square meters. The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital, operated by the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), now boasts an annual passenger handling capacity of 100 million spread across three terminals: T1, T2, and T3.

DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said that the expanded T1 is expected to be operational in May, before the peak summer season, with the process related to Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) underway.

Jaipuriar also provided insights into the expected traffic for the current financial year, mentioning a projected figure of 72 million passengers, with international traffic anticipated to comprise around 27-28 percent of this total.

He noted that compared to pre-Covid levels, international traffic has increased by 10 percent. The expanded T1 positions the Delhi airport among the top five airports globally in terms of annual passenger handling capacity.

Group Deputy Managing Director of GMR Group I Prabhakara Rao highlighted the scale of the expansion, stating that the amount of steel used exceeded that of the Eiffel Tower by more than 10 times.

The expanded T1 boasts several enhancements, including eight entry gates equipped with Facial Recognition System (Digi Yatra), 20 Automated Tray Retrieval System (ATRS), Individual Carrier System (ICS), 108 Common Usage Self Service (CUSS) kiosks, and 100 check-in counters, including 36 Self Baggage Drop (SBD) kiosks. Additionally, there are 10 baggage reclaim carousels, each 70 meters long, and the capacity of the baggage handling system has doubled to around 6,000 bags per hour.

DIAL plans to further expand by converting T2 into Terminal 4 (T4), which is expected to be operational in 2028-29, increasing the overall capacity of the Delhi airport to 140 million.

Ahead of the virtual inauguration, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh and Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena spoke at a function at the Delhi airport, emphasizing the significant infrastructure development in the aviation sector.

Prime Minister Modi inaugurated 12 new terminal buildings at various airports and laid the foundation stone for three new terminal buildings as part of the expansion plans for the aviation network. (With inputs from PTI)