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Delhi to get India’s first global hub airport


The Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is all set to become the busiest airport transforming itself into India’s first global hub airport. The Centre and the  Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) are working with big names from the aviation world such as Air India and IndiGo to undertake this transformation, the Times of India reported.

Earlier last year when the Tata Group acquired Air India, Delhi International Airport (DIAL) Chief Executive Officer Videh Jaipuriar spoke about his expectations of making the IGI airport a global hub with the new leadership of the airlines.

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“There were so many flight opportunities that we had discussed with Air India in the past. The airline, however, could not go ahead with those plans due to various constraints. With the new owners, we expect Delhi to become a hub in this part of the region,” Delhi International Airport (DIAL) chief executive officer Videh Jaipuriar said in an interview to ET.

Speaking about Delhi airport’s potential for emerging as a hub for global travel Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific Director General Stefano Baronci had told ToI in an interview that “Delhi certainly has potential as it is geographically well positioned, it’s the capital

of the country and also the leading airport in terms of traffic.”

Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told the national daily about the ministry’s plan to make transfers between international to international, international to domestic and vice versa, and domestic to domestic passengers seamless.

“Globally, hub airports are dominated by one or two airlines. That was not the case in India so far. As a novel idea we are trying to develop that (at IGIA) with one or two airlines so that we can provide seamless transfers for international to international, international to domestic and vice versa, and domestic to domestic passengers. We are trying to progress this as soon as possible to be able to provide wonderful (global connectivity) options to our travellers, which is not the case today,”the minister said.

Talking about the footfall at the Delhi airport and how it is speculated to increase the Aviation Minister mentioned that the IGIA is in the same league as USA’s famous JFK airport,

“The Delhi airport is currently the 10th busiest airport in the world. “The IGIA is at 7 crore (annual passengers) and will soon touch 10 crore. You are in the league of a JFK, Chicago,” Scindia said.

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The project is in progress, according to the ministry with both Scindia and aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal having held several meetings with stakeholders on the issue.

The airlines have to step-up to provide functions such as direct connectivity to rest of the world on wide body aircraft that see a significant demand for travel from that city or country which the with Air India and Indigo is going to do, the report said.

The transformation of an airport into a hub airport requires a big and efficient transit area for seamless transfers. An air train linking different terminals is also required so that passengers can go from one terminal to the other without any trouble . Considering the fact that the commute between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3/2 takes a lot of time by road, DIAL has to has to provide a big and efficient transit area for seamless transfers.

DIAL has sought the ministry’s approval for starting the bidding for about Rs 2,500-crore to build an air train that will link T1, Aerocity, T3/2 with a partially underground, elevated and on surface track, ToI reported.

Passengers will be exempt from buying tickets for the air-train as the concession for the air train will be given to a third party which will bear the cost for implementing the project and earn revenue through means like advertising.

Commenting on DIAL’s proposal and the possible plans for the air-train linking IGIA’s various terminals, Jyotiraditya Scindia mentioned that the ministry is considering ways to utilize the advanatage offered by Delhi Metro’s vast network.

“This comes into the whole multi-modal logistics issue as well, We are in discussions with them and are looking at GatiShakti and logistics plan. Couple of the stakeholders will have to sit together to try and develop a model based on which this project can be executed. That responsibility may lie with one or two agencies, but the (primary) responsibilty lies with the airport operator. We are looking at Delhi Metro and see how that advantage can be accrued. There are access issues which we are trying to resolve”, the aviation minister said.


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