The delay in shifting of flight operations from one terminal to another at the IGI Airport has hampered expansion work, Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today.Last year, airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had asked GoAir, IndiGo and SpiceJet to shift one-third of their operations from terminal 1 (T1) to terminal 2 (T2).
Market leader IndiGo challenged the DIAL’s order before the Delhi High Court, which turned down its plea. The airline has now approached the Supreme Court.
“I would say a delay (in shifting operations) has resulted in strengthening of infrastructure getting delayed. This is the result of it. We tried to avoid it. We tried to get everyone together and take it forward and it didn’t happen. The time-frame has gone haywire.” the minister said at a media interaction.
“The world over it is the airport operator that takes the final decision on who goes where in the airport,” he added.
IGI’s T1 has a capacity of 20 million passengers per annum, while it handled 24 million passengers in 2016-17.
According to the master plan, the capacity of T1 will be doubled from 20 million to 40 million and the capacity of T3 will be increased from 34 million to 45 million.
The DIAL opened the revamped T2 in October after seven years, but so far GoAir is the only airline that has agreed to shift its entire operations from T1.
IndiGo has argued that shifting some of its flights will pose operational challenges for the airline as well as inconvenience passengers.
“Two courts have already thrown it out and now it has gone to the SC. Let’s see where it goes. Because, we also don’t want to do anything illegal,” the minister said without naming the airline.
Last week, IndiGo moved the Supreme Court challenging a Delhi High Court order that it cannot claim monopoly over T1 and its appeal likely to be taken up for hearing on February 23.
A larger bench of the high court had upheld the decision of a single judge order which upheld DIAL’s decision to partially shift the operations of Indigo, GoAir and SpiceJet from T1 to T2 at IGI.