Over the years, Delhi’s airport has expanded over and over again, and it is set to expand even further. The airport already has 3 functional runways, and now, to keep pace with the growth witnessed, will add a 4th runway shortly.
As a recap, long long time ago, Delhi used to operate out of Terminal 1 and 2 (for domestic and international operations, respectively). Then, in 2010, the Terminal 3 was inaugurated, which brought the concept of an integrated terminal to fore. All international operations started in July 2010, and domestic operations of full-service carriers moved as well in November 2010.
New Runway coming up
The airport is expected to start working on getting a fourth runway in place this year, which could be ready by 2018. This would take up the capacity of the Delhi airport from 75 aircraft movements per hour to 105 aircraft movements per hour.
Terminal 1D to expand
Terminal 1D is the Domestic Terminal being used by Indigo, SpiceJet and GoAir in Delhi, all the no-frill carriers. It is pretty full at peak times, and will now expand to double its passenger handling capability. This means, from the current 15 million passengers a year, the capacity will increase to 30 million passengers, by 2020. Ten aerobridges are slated to be built, and gates go up from 8 to 25. This terminal will also get to host Air Asia and other no-frill carriers at some point of time.
Terminal 4 to come up
Terminal 4 is slated to come up across the road from Terminal 3, at the site of the old Terminal 2. Terminal 2 has not been used for years at length now (apart from some Haj flights), and will be torn down to make space for Terminal 4. The airport master plan also has Terminal 5 and 6 provided for, but where will these come up ever is not known.
The intended outcome is that Terminal 1 would be for Domestic operations of no-frill carriers, while Terminal 4 will then host all the full-service carriers domestic operations. Terminal 3 will be assigned for international operations only.
Rail network to connect all the terminals
While the pain is expected to continue for now to connect between Terminal 1 & 3, the airport operator is going to build a rail network between the terminals to connect them for transferring passengers.
All in all, exciting plans. But I can’t fathom why the airport would want to move out domestic airlines which are running an integrated operation. This would mostly affect Air India, because it is the hub airport of AI, and gets traffic from many a Star Alliance partners in Delhi.
What do you guys think about the expansion of Delhi Airport?