Delhi Airport is India’s busiest airport, handling over 65 million passengers. It is the only airport in the country which has three runways at its disposal where maintenance has to be carried out regularly. One of the three runways will go under maintenance next month.
Runway 27/09, is Delhi’s shortest runway at 2,813 meters. It is not parallel to runway 28/10, which means only one of them can be used at a time. Starting November 13, 2018, runway 27/09 will be non-operational for 13 days for preventive maintenance activities. This will lower the capacity of IGI Airport by 50 arrivals and 50 departures per day.
Currently, the primary use of this runway is for VIP movements. No-frills carrier such as IndiGo & SpiceJet utilize this runway for 100 daily flights due to its proximity to Terminal 1D. So unlike Mumbai, where runway maintenance can severy disrupt operations, this housekeeping should not result in significant delays or cancellations.
As the work will run into late November, there might be a chance of flight schedules being disrupted due to visibility issues. As runway 27/09 is a CAT 1 runway, the other two runways become the workhorses when visibility drops – irrespective of the maintenance.
What does this mean for passengers? First, expect delays, especially if you are flying on a no-frills carrier. Second, your aircraft will be on the taxiway for longer than usual. Reaching your gates could take up to 20 minutes if your plane has to make its way from the main runway (29/11) to the apron out of which most of the no-frills carriers operate.
Disruptions due to runway maintenance is an unavoidable part of flight operations. There will be some disruptions for sure. If you have booked a flight during this period, keep an eye out for flight delay/cancellation announcements from the airline.
Have any of your flights been rescheduled due to this upcoming maintenance?