Soon, a flight every 37 seconds would be possible from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. There is a constant increase in the passenger traffic at IGIA so the authorities are mulling to increase the number of aircraft movements by over 40% per hour in three years. Currently, there are around 67 aircraft movements per hour at the airport under the summer schedule. This number is proposed to be increased to 95. This means that every 37 seconds a flight would be possible from IGIA. MoS Aviation Jayant Sinha said, there is a “strong working hypothesis” to increase the aircraft movements at the aerodrome, after discussions with stakeholders concerned on increasing the overall capacity at IGIA. A takeoff or landing is considered as one aircraft movement.
“We can expand it (aircraft movements) to 95 movements per hour in next two to three years… We think it is entirely feasible,” Sinha said, adding that it can be done only with very close collaboration between all the stakeholders, including air traffic controllers, airport, and airlines. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation also noted that once the airside capacity is increased, then passenger handling capacity can go to 90 million from the current level of 60 million per year.
Not just this, a flight operations committee would be set up to look into various issues related to the airport and the panel would hold a meeting every month. Noting that the master plan for the Delhi airport is being re-evaluated, Sinha said UK-based NATS has been examining on how to increase airside capacity in the next two to three years. Airside capacity refers to takeoffs and landings that an airport can handle. NATS provides air traffic control services.
“NATS analysis is a strong working hypothesis. It is not a final scientific conclusion. “There will be several months more of very detailed technical analysis, including simulations using the proprietary software to come to a conclusion on exactly how many movements are possible and by when” the minister said. Against the backdrop of differences between the Delhi airport operator and airlines over proposed shifting of operations to T2, Sinha said planning for increasing terminal capacity depends on airside capacity.
An official release said that by the end of this year, the airside capacity is expected to rise by 10 per cent, with around 72 to 73 movements per hour. There are two operational terminals at the airport here — T1 and T3 — while T2 construction is over but flights are yet to start operating from there. While T1 has a rated capacity to 20 million passengers a year, the number of passengers passing through that terminal is around 24 million.