Indira Gandhi International Airport is gearing up for an infrastructural boost to match the heights of New York JFK Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi International Airport. Like these leading international airports, New Delhi IGI Airport is all set to get an air train to interconnect the terminals for smooth passenger transit. Yes, you read it rightly. Delhi International Airport is the first Indian airport to have a dedicated Metro line between the terminals.
At present, buses transport passengers between the terminals of New Delhi IGI Airport. The proposed automated people mover (APM) between T1 (low cost domestic), T2 (old international terminal which will be converted into T4 by 2020) and T3 will make passenger transit faster and more convenient than the existing inter-terminal transit system. The project, which was supposed to begin in 2020, will be expedited given the increasing passenger traffic to the airport.
The upcoming automated people mover or air train at Delhi IGI Airport will be a 5.5-km-long transit line including 3km underground and 2.5km on ground. It will have four stopovers: T1, cargo terminal, Aerocity (the hospitality section), and a common station for T3 and T4. A technical study on the routing and an estimated costing of the project are in process.
With two terminals and three runways, New Delhi IGI Airport recorded whopping passenger traffic of 6.9 million in 2018. With the proposed expansion of Terminal 1 and the construction of the fourth runway, the annual volume of passenger traffic is supposed to be 10 million by 2020. With the increasing passenger traffic volume, the number of travelers transiting between T1 and T2/3 for flight arrival and departure will be growing. The annual passenger traffic will rise to 15 crore by 2025 when Terminal 4 will be operational.
Air train for New Delhi IGI Airport is an ambitious project. The construction of automated people mover under and on ground will cost up to INR 400 crore on an average per kilometer. The entire project will cost INR 2,000-2500 crore.
Recently, Delhi IGI Airport has been rated better for its security system than several other international airports, including London Heathrow, in the Airports Council International’s Airport Service Quality Survey. Delhi airport is the world’s second best airport, according to the same survey.
Delhi has good air connectivity with major cities in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. There are nonstop flights to Delhi from Chicago, Newark, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and others. Indian Eagle, a leading international travel organization, books cheap flight tickets to Delhi from USA for economy class, business class and last-minute travel.