The GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL) on Tuesday unveiled the ‘master plan’ for the expansion of the existing terminal 1 in the next three years starting from 2018 and consequently three low-cost airlines — IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir — will have to shift a third of their domestic operations to Terminal 2 by August 31. According to I Prabhakara Rao, chief executive officer, DIAL, the project is expected to get the clearance from the regulator by the end of September and work is expected to start from March next year.
As per the proposed expansion plan laid out by the consortium, the total capacity of T1 will be doubled to 40 million passengers at end of the next three years from the current 20 million. The total area covered by the terminal is to be increased to 169,000 sq metre compared to just 69,000 sq metre at present.
“In 2006 we did not anticipate such exponential growth in the domestic aviation market especially for the low cost carriers. We have to accommodate the growth in the industry and that can only be done through expansion. Delhi airport also needs a cross taxiway, a fourth run way and a new apron,” added Rao.
The new plan for T1 will add a new apron of 6 million sq ft, 22 boarding gates, 82 parking stands for aircraft compared to 55 at present and a new cross taxi way. The existing capacity of T1 is 20 million passengers annually and in FY17 the three LCC carriers carried 24 million passengers from the terminal. In the current fiscal, the number of passengers flown is expected to be in the range 27 million.
For the last eight months, DIAL has been trying to convince IndiGo and SpiceJet to shift part of their operations to T2. DIAL had already spent `100 crore in revamping T2.
“We are trying to convince the airlines to shift a part of their operations but now there is no option. If we have to expand the existing terminal. When we have an another terminal ready then why make the passenger suffer. Now there is no option, a part of the domestic operation in the winter schedule will have to be shifted,” explained Rao.
The second terminal has a capacity of 12 million passengers and can be stretched to 14 million and is built over a total area of 7,000 square metre. Once the expansion work of T1 is over then T2 will be demolished to build a fourth run way. Overall, the master plan will be implemented in three phases from 2018-2021, 2021-2025 and 2026 onwards.