An official told the terminal is ready and last-minute reviews will be taken out over the week
Domestic passengers landing at Delhi airport may soon leave from the arrivals section of the new Terminal 1 (T1) building, which is currently ready and possible to be opened for public operations soon, the airport operator told on Monday.
- An airport official, who requested not to be named, told the new building — which will finally replace and subsume the two existing T1 units — could be extended for public operations as earlier as next week.
Delhi International Airport Limited
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the airport operator, is constructing the latest T1 building. The current arrivals terminal, known as T1(C), will be demolished once flight operations shift to the new building, told, officials.
The new building, once completed in its full (which may be some time in 2023, according to officials), will bring departures and arrivals at T1 under the same roof.
The airport operator started paving the way for a new T1 building years ago, as passenger traffic started too far exceed the terminal’s annual capacity of 20 million people. Some airlines were requested to shift operations to T2 in early 2018 to make way for renovations. Portions of the T1(D) and T1(C) buildings, which handle departures and arrivals respectively, were brought down, as a stepping stone to a larger, unified T1 building.
Before this, T2 was only used for a couple of months each year for Haj pilgrims.
Once the new T1 building is completed, the airport operator is possible to stop regular passenger operations at T2, as before, with domestic airlines completely shifting their operations to the new terminal.
Construction work on the new T1 building eventually started in August 2019, even as operations resumed from the T1(D) and T1(C) buildings, till they were shut on March 24, 2020, owing to the Covid-19 outbreak.
When the government declared the resumption of flights, T3 was the first to be reopened, on May 25, 2020. Then, T2 was reopened on July 22, 2021, while operations at T1 resumed on October 1, 2021, after passenger traffic increased considerably
The new T1, being built as part of Phase 3A of the airport development plan, will merge the arrival and departure sections, have a new node building that houses retail and food and beverage outlets, and a pier building that comprises 22 contact stands for the plane.
The new arrivals terminal spans 8,000 square meters and is equipped with four new luggage carousels, officials told, adding that the building has been made in consonance with the globally acknowledged “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)” green building standards, with the widespread use of glass panels to permit ample sunlight during the day and reduce power consumption
“In addition, lighting fixtures and equipment like HVAC [heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning] and baggage belts are energy efficient,” told a DIAL agent.
The new T1 arrivals terminal is now part of a separate building, closer to T1(D) than T1(C). Once reopened, the new T1 will be capable to take 40 million passengers a year, as against the old terminal’s 20-million-passenger capacity.
IndiGo and SpiceJet continuing to operate
Airport officials told there will be no change in flight operations with the opening of the new T1 arrivals building, with IndiGo and SpiceJet continuing to operate there as they were operating from the current T1 building.
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All first flights will be running from T2, which will also host IndiGo’s 2000 series flights, while T3 will resume operating all international flights, along with the remainder of domestic flights, such as Vistara.
The Delhi airport can currently handle around 70 million passengers per annum at its three terminals. T3 can handle 35 million passengers per annum, T1 can handle 20 million passengers and T2 can operate 15-18 million passengers annually.
After expansion work at T1 and T3, the two terminals will be capable to manage 40 million passengers and 40-45 million passengers per annum respectively.
Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Outside the new arrivals terminal, the operator has counted three pick-up lanes for cars. T1 will now have 11 pick-up lanes, which “will ease congestion and significantly improve passenger knowledge and convenience during pickup,” the DIAL representative told.
“DIAL has ended expansion work of the arrival terminal at T1 and it is now ready for operations… The new arrival terminal is another action towards enhancing infrastructure and improving the passenger experience at Delhi Airport.
The current domestic arrival operations will move to the newly constructed arrival terminal, which will allow DIAL to demolish the existing arrival terminal, T1C,” told. Prabhakara Rao, deputy managing director of the GMR Group, controls the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
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