Sunday, October 25, 2020

T1 expansion delayed by a year as Covid-19 hits air traffic badly

New Delhi: With Covid severely crippling air traffic, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has slowed down the ongoing expansion work at terminal 1 (T1). The June 2022 completion date has been deferred by a year. However, other infra augmentation work, such as the fourth runway and the elevated cross taxiway, are proceeding as per schedule and will be completed by next year.

Comments from Delhi International Airport Ltd were awaited till the time of going to press.

IGIA was operating only T3 for all domestic and international flights till September-end. T2 was put into use only from October 1 for handling some domestic flights of IndiGo and GoAir.

“Given the revised traffic projections during the pandemic, the existing capacity of T1 (which is used for domestic flights only) is going to be sufficient till FY 2022-23. So the ongoing expansion work to double T1’s existing annual 2 crore passenger handling capacity to 4 crore has been slowed and now, completion is targeted for June 2023. Work on T1 has not been stopped, it has only been slowed down,” said sources.

IGIA has projected a precipitous 73% fall in traffic this financial year with an expected total (domestic plus international) passenger number of 1.8 crore — down from 6.7 crore in the April 2019-March 2020 period. DIAL now estimates post-Covid recovery in air travel only by financial year 2023-24 when it expects 7.3 crore flyers.

DIAL’s plan for T1 includes expanding the departures and arrival buildings with a new architectural facade on the city side, and the integration with the existing terminal. The terminal area will then increase to over 1.9 lakh square metres. The number of entry gates will increase from 8 to 13 and of arrival baggage carousels from 8 to 10.

25/10/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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