Thursday, April 20, 2017

T1 to T2 to T1 to T4 has government and airlines’ heads spinning

New Delhi: Summer peak travel is set to start in about a month and there are serious questions about how Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), which operates Indira Gandhi International Airport, will manage the crowds given that Terminal 1 is already a congested nightmare for passengers. Ironically, there is Terminal 2, which is ready for use except that two low cost carriers have baulked at moving there and freeing up T1 for domestic flights. Aviation minister Jayant Sinha has called a meeting of all stakeholders on Thursday to discuss how to unravel this knot.
Sinha, in explaining the master plan for IGIA, hinted at why SpiceJet and GoAir are reluctant to move to the revamped terminal. "Some airlines or flights have to be shifted out of Terminal 1 so construction can begin to expand the facility," said Sinha. "The airlines/flights shifted have to operate out of T2. Once the T1 expansion is completed, the airlines will revert to that terminal. Following this, T2 will be torn down to make way for T4, to which operations will then be shifted." This move from T1 to T2 and back to T1 and then to T4 is what the two airlines are queasy about.
IGIA handled 5.5 crore passengers (domestic and international) last year, up 20% from 4.6 crore in 2015. The minister said this unprecedented growth has forced a reanalysis of the master plan to see how the increase can be accommodated. "We need to see how we can free up capacity both at the airside (to allow more flights per hour) and on the terminal side," said Sinha.
20/04/17 Sajurabh Sinha/Times of India