By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) A contract for the Indira Gandhi International Airport's (IGIA) capacity expansion is expected to be awarded this month as part of the next phase of development, which includes another integrated terminal.
"The contract for expansion work under the next phase is expected to be awarded by month-end. Actual work will begin in the next few months. The plan, already approved, will help in capacity augmentation," an airport official told IANS.
The airport, the largest and the busiest in India, handled 7 crore passengers in 2018 against 6.35 crore in 2017. It is ranked the 16th busiest airport in the world.
According to the official, the new round of expansion work, to be completed in stages, includes construction of an integrated terminal for low-cost carriers, dedicated general aviation terminal, fourth runway and a cross-taxi way by 2021.
Delhi International Airport Limited ( DIAL), which operates the IGIA, had finalised expansion plans in 2016 in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and other stakeholders.
According to the plan, the new integrated terminal will sport 22 aero-bridges, 13 bus gates, 108 CUSS (common use self-service) and better passenger amenities like metro connectivity, multi-level car parking, 10 arrival conveyor baggage belts and expanded air and city-side areas.
An inter-connected stretch between two existing runways to increase efficiency also forms the part of new plan. The inter-connected stretch will allow for greater flight movements and save aircraft commuting time from "terminal to tarmac".
The fourth runway, to be constructed parallel to runway 11/29 by the end of 2020, will help ease pressure on other runways.
The expansion plan will be implemented in three modular phases -- 3A (2018-22), 3B (2022-26) and phase 4 (2027 onward).
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)