Delhi airport's new terminal and the fourth runway will become operational in September, Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said on Thursday. The Indira Gandhi International Airport will become the only Indian airport to have four runways.
"September 2023 will be witness to Delhi airport getting a new terminal and the fourth runway becoming operational. The Indian aviation sector is growing rapidly and we are preparing for better infrastructure and better connectivity with a renewed focus on innovation," he said. The aviation secretary made the comments at the EU-India Aviation Summit, which began here on Thursday.
According to officials familiar with the development, the fourth runway is expected to be around 4,400 metres long and 75 metres wide. It is slightly smaller than the third runway (known as 29/11).
"The fourth runway is expected to ease the pressure of a likely rise in flight operations. The new runway will considerably cut the waiting time for flights to land and take off," an official said. The new runway is part of Phase III-A of the Delhi airport's expansion plan. The original deadline for the plan was mid-to-end 2022.
DIAL (Delhi International Airport Limited), a joint venture majority-owned by the GMR Group, had in 2019 announced an investment of Rs 9,800 crore to upgrade the existing Terminal 1, build a fourth runway and for other development works to increase the airport's capacity to 100 million passengers a year from 66 million now.
The work on the runway was affected due to the coronavirus, the official said. The EU-India Aviation Summit will focus on EU-India air transport relations and the mutually shared challenges and opportunities such as the post-Covid recovery of air traffic, increasing sustainability, maintaining safety and the development of unmanned aircraft systems.
The summit will bring together top-level policymakers, industry executives and stakeholders from both the European Union and India. "There are several fronts on which India and the EU cooperate and this summit marks the beginning of that journey," he said.