Thursday, June 24, 2010

Delhi’s Terminal 3 Set To Open For International Traffic


AWIN First Jun 23 , 2010
Neelam Mathews

The $2.8 billion Terminal 3 at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, which will be capable of processing 34 million passengers per year, is set to be inaugurated July 3.

The integrated terminal, which will handle international and domestic traffic, will become the world’s sixth largest terminal after Dubai, Beijing, Singapore, Bangkok and Mexico City.

International traffic will start operating from the terminal on July 15 and domestic traffic from July 30. Budget carriers SpiceJet and Indigo will continue to operate from the present terminal.

Around 12,800 bags will be handled every hour. With frenzied work on finishing touches, the airport seems to “want to avoid a problem like Heathrow’s T5 did for baggage handling,” according to an official. “The first bag will be on the belt within 15 minutes of arrival,” he promises.

For the past six months, the Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) team has been conducting trials for bomb threats, fire fighting and baggage reclaim in crisis. “We work on four to five scenarios everyday,” an ORAT team member tells AviationWeek.

“We do expect initial teething problems,” said an official. A major issue being faced is IT-related. The baggage handling and airport data base will be an initial concern. “However, if it fails, it will be dealt with manual processes,” says an official.

The airport has 78 passenger boarding bridges to handle 600 passengers an hour, and two gates set aside for the Airbus A380. Each pier is 1.2 km long, and 90% of passengers are expected to go through boarding bridges.

Delhi International Airport Ltd is a joint venture between GMR, Airports Authority of India, Fraport of Germany and Malaysian Airport Holdings.

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