NEW DELHI- Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) is considering re-establishing T2 as an all-international terminal, similar to its 1986 configuration, as a short-term solution to manage increasing foreign traffic.
Delhi airport’s oldest Terminal 2 might see a return to its roots before being replaced by the modern T4, anticipated to open by 2032.
Delhi IGI Terminal May Reopen
Currently, IGI Airport exclusively handles international flights through T3. As a ‘medium-term’ solution, one of the two domestic piers at T3 will be converted into an international pier.
This project is expected to take more than a year to complete from the time it begins.
These options are under consideration because the total capacity of IGI’s three terminals is 74 million passengers annually, with 21 million allocated for international travel and the remainder for domestic flights.
T4 will be constructed based on demand, with an expected completion by 2030 or 2032. By February, the ongoing expansion of T1 will be finished, increasing IGIA’s combined capacity to 10.9 crore passengers annually.
This expansion will significantly enhance domestic travel, while the international capacity will remain relatively unchanged.
Delhi Airport Expansion Plans
They are anticipating the handling of 54 million domestic and 17 million international passengers in the fiscal year spanning from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024.
With plans to allocate more slots starting next summer, they aim to potentially reach 21 million international passengers in the following fiscal year.
As they consider their options, they aim to stay proactive and prepare to accommodate increased foreign passenger traffic,” as conveyed by Mr. Jaipuriar.
“One of the long-term strategies involves replacing the existing 15 million passenger annual capacity T2 with a much larger T4, designed to handle 40 million passengers annually.
According to sources, the construction of T4 will be tailored to meet demand. This implies that it will be completed by either 2030 or 2032, contingent on the pace of growth. Building a terminal of this size is estimated to require approximately three years.
Delhi Airport Expansion
The CEO mentioned that the IGI airport presently manages approximately 1,270 daily aircraft movements, compared to the pre-Covid peak of just under 1,500.
It is expected that by the upcoming summer, all four runways will be operational (the main airstrip is currently closed for repairs), and the expanded T1 will be operational as well.
Sources indicate that there is consideration for the establishment of an international wing at T1.
Back in May 2006, when Delhi Airport underwent privatization with the GMR Group’s takeover, the original master plan was geared towards constructing T3 in preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
However, the surge in traffic necessitated the construction of a new T1 before that timeframe.
Given the current growth in air traffic, a situation similar to the one that led to building the new T1 may arise when transforming T2 to T4. This transformation might include creating an international wing at T1. As it serves as a hub for low-cost carriers, and having an international wing in close proximity could create operational synergy.
An airline official remarked that DIAL needs to explore interim solutions before T4 is ready.
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