Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, which is one the busiest airport in India will soon witness a transformational change with the airport operator finalising the route of an “air train” connecting the terminals as well as Aerocity, the hotel centre. According to the Times of India report, the train will have four stations, including one at the cargo terminal. Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd is currently working on financing the “automated people mover” (APM) project, expected to cost Rs 2,000-2,500 crore.
However, the passengers must note that the DIAL did not give a date for the project’s completion but it is likely to be ready in three to four years. DIAL had first announced the air train project in 2016 and had said it would be in place by 2020.
The project which was scheduled to complete earlier was deferred due to the hugely delayed expansion of IGIA. Currently, the annual passenger handling capacity of T1, T2 and T3 is 2 crore, 1.2 crore and 3.4 crore, respectively.
DIAL says the expansion of T1 and T3, along with the fourth runway and elevated taxi track, will be complete by mid-2022. Once this happens, there will be greater transit passenger flow between T1 and T3/2. “T2 is expected to be demolished in 2024 and in its place terminal T4 would be built in two phases by 2028,” the airport operator said to The Times of India.
The 5.1km-long air train will be underground between T1 and Aerocity. From there to T3, the train will be mostly elevated. It will have four stations — T1, Aerocity, cargo terminal and a common terminal for T1 and T2/4.
“With the fast growing passenger traffic across three passenger terminal buildings, there is a need to have a seamless commuting mechanism for inter-terminal passenger movement. This is also in line with (guidance from) the (aviation) ministry and other government agencies as well. Hence, DIAL has approached the world’s leading APM providers to explore the same. The route alignment has been finalised and various technologies from Europe and Asia are being explored by involving different agencies to assess the feasibility of the project,” a DIAL spokesman said to The Times of India.
Asked why the project, which was supposed to be ready in 2020, got so much delayed, the spokesman said: “DIAL has been proactively working to bring the safest and most passenger friendly APM solution. Since we have involved global leading companies from Europe and Japan, evaluating different technologies is taking some time. Further, the capital investment is significant. Hence, we are exploring various models for developing the APM, including low cost financing.”