New Delhi: New Delhi state-of-the-art new airport terminal will be opened next month, firmly putting the city in the elite category of megacities with world class airports.
The new terminal -- studded with 78 aero bridges, 97 automatic travelators and latest Cat III runway landing systems -- will more than double the airport`s current capacity and handle nearly 35 million passengers a year - posing a serious challenge to Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai as a regional transport hub.
Experts say such a facility was long over due for a city like New Delhi with a population of over 16 million and global ambitions of joining megacities with world class airports.
HS Khola, former Director General Civil Aviation, said the new terminal would help unleash India`s latent aviation potential.
"Since the airport growth was restricted for 15 years, passengers were very inconvenienced because the capacity was not available. The growth of the aviation was also restricted because of the capacity constraints. I am sure all these problems will be resolved with this new airport," Khosla added.
He also said massive infrastructure projects like the Delhi airport would also help make travel safer, both in the air and on the ground.
Sanjay Jha, a civil aviation expert and consultant with various airlines, said the new terminal would go a long way in alleviating those concerns.
"For aviation sector as well as the airlines this is definitely a boon. I would take it that this is a gift to the aviation sector and for airlines it is an opportunity to utilise this infrastructure which has been created," Jha said.
The airport is being built by Delhi International Airport (DIAL) - a joint venture of India``s GMR Infrastructure, German airport operator Fraport and the state-run Airports Authority of India.