With four runways, the most for an airport in the country, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport will be able to handle up to 14 million people each year. In the previous pre-pandemic year of 2019, the airport handled 6.9 million international and local (arrival and departure) passengers.
New Delhi: With the installation of the instrument landing system and other work such as painting runway markers and calibration completed by December, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport’s fourth runway is expected to begin operations early next year.
Sanjeev Kumar, chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), acknowledged the development to TOI, adding, “The fourth runway should be operational by early 2023.” As a result, the IGI airport will be the only one in India with four runways.
According to a capacity study undertaken by the UK-based air traffic management organisation, NATS, Delhi airport will be able to fly in and out as many as 14 crore passengers yearly with a total of four runways, the most for an airport in the country.
Meanwhile, AAI chairman Kumar stated clear plans to hire more ATCOs and enhance India’s air traffic control (ATC) infrastructure. “We have developed a 10-year strategy to boost ATC capacity across India by replacing and upgrading ageing equipment.”
The airport authority currently spends Rs 600-700 crore per year on air navigation systems. According to Kumar, this will be increased to Rs 1,000 crore.
Furthermore, AAI advertised for 400 ATCOs this year, and 300 who joined last year will be in the system in 2022 after completing training. In 2023, an extra 320 people will be hired.
“Overall, around 1,000 ATCOs would have joined in three years.” We have also proposed to the aviation ministry the creation of 452 new positions. “Our priority is to increase ATCOs and modernise systems so that we can handle more flights safely,” Kumar explained.