According to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), more than 12.3 lakh international and domestic passengers traveled through Indira Gandhi International Airport from April to June 2020. Additionally, in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi airport is set to have its first QR-coded gate pass facility at the cargo terminal in order to reduce paperwork, direct contact, and operational hassle. These remarkable achievements trace their origin to 2006 when IGI operations were transferred from AAI to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) – A Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) venture led by GMR group consortium.
Corporate Lobbyist Deepak Talwar says, “The difference between Delhi airport in 2006 and 2020 is tremendous. IGI is a classic example of a successful PPP that has led to tremendous growth and benefits for the aviation industry, investors, and customers over the years. The airport houses state-of-the-art facilities for passengers and will soon have four runways. This speaks volumes about GMR Group’s contribution to the operational efficiency and revenue generation of Delhi airport.”
During this journey, 2010 was a major milestone. Under pressure from strict deadlines due to Commonwealth Games, there was no room for failure. The influx of international passengers in the national capital needed significant improvement in airport operations. This is when GME-led DIAL managed to deliver the T3 terminal – A project constructed in 3 years and 6 months after its design received a green light. Furthermore, IGI inaugurated its third runway in the same year.
From Rs 277 crore in 2006, AAI’s revenue received more than Rs 2,000 crore after a decade as DIAL’s share. Year-on-year, the improvements in IGI Airport managed to increase customers, business, revenue, and subsequently, expansion. In 2007, Aerocity was planned as a closed ecosystem around IGI Airport that facilitated business meetings and accommodation at a minimal distance. As a result, it helped businessmen across the country to conduct their travel in luxurious environments within a minimum time frame.
In August 2019, GMR Group announced Phase 3A expansion work at IGI Airport so as to introduce new technologies, optimize service efficiency, and ensure tier-1 passenger experience. Shri I Prabhakara Rao, Deputy Managing Director, GMR Group, said, “With this expansion, Delhi Airport will once again set a new standard for the airport experience. Our vision is to be at the forefront of creating world-class facilities and value-added amenities for our customers and making it one of the best airports across the world.”
This expansion project includes integration of T1 arrival and departure terminals, building a new dual elevated Eastern Cross Taxiways (ECT), and a fourth runway – a first across the country.