Delhi is growing at a phenomenal rate and the increased demand for air travel and the need to make air travel in India comparable or better than anywhere in the world prompted the expansion, renovation and modernization of the airports and other allied facilities that were being used until recently. Now Delhi has two airports although many consider that there are three.
The two airports are: The Indira Gandhi International Airport and Safdarjung Airport. There are two major Terminals of Indira Gandhi International Airport; Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. These two terminals are about 5 kms apart and therefore are considered as two separate airports.
- Indira Gandhi International Airport
- Safdarjung Airport
- Palam Domestic Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport
Catering to the needs of Delhi and the National capital Region, the main airport of Delhi is the Indira Gandhi International Airport. It has two main terminals that are located about 5 kms from each other; Terminal 1 which caters to domestic flights and Terminal 3 that is mainly used for International flights and some domestic flights. Indira Gandhi International Airport is a modern and very busy airport which is the pride of Delhi. It has been recently renovated, upgraded and restructured with world class facilities and aesthetics. This newly renovated airport is considered to be one of the best airports in the world and is located about 16 kms south- west of the city center. It is spread over an area of more than 5200 acres or 2112 hectares of land.
Together with Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai and the Airports in Chennai, it handles more than half of the air traffic in South Asia. Since 2010, the airport is operated by Delhi International Airport Private Limited or DIAL, a venture of GMR Infrastructure Ltd., the company which has developed the new modern airport. Earlier the operations of the Palam Airport were looked after by the Indian Air Force and later by the Airports Authority of India.
The infrastructural development of Indira Gandhi International Airport has been undertaken by GMR Infrastructure Ltd., a company belonging to the GMR Group that has major interest in energy, highways and airport development business.
There are many special security features that have been added. For example there are more than 3000 special and intelligent security cameras that cover the entire T3 Terminal which include vigilance right up to the perimeter of the designated area.
The new Indira Gandhi International Airport or the Terminal 3 which was opened in 2010 has been designed to handle the ever increasing air passenger traffic that has more than doubled since 2007. In 2013 it has overshot Its present capability of handling 34 million passengers a year by handling 36.7 million passengers and thereby becoming the largest air traffic terminal in India and also one of the largest in the world. It is still growing, and plans to bring more facilities, are being implemented so that the capacity of the airport is increased to handle 100 million passengers a year. This Terminal handles all international flights and some domestic flights as well.
Delhi International Airport (P) Limited
New Udaan Bhawan,
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi-110 037.
24 X 7 Call Centre - + 91 124 3376000, +91 124 4797300
Safdarjung Airport is the oldest airport of Delhi and is so called after the neighborhood that it is located in. The airport was called the” Willington Airfield” when it started operations during the British Rule. The airport played a very important role in World War II as it fell on the South Atlantic air route. It was also used extensively in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Safdarjung Airport was Delhi’s main airport until 1962 when the operations were shifted to Palam Airport when newer larger aircrafts made their appearance and could not be operated from the smaller Safdarjung Airport.
However, the airport remained functional till 2002 as it housed the Delhi Flying Club which was established in 1928. The airport has been closed after 2002 for all flying activities except VVIP rides by helicopter to ferry the President, PM Etc. to the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The 190 acre area in which the airport is located also houses the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan where the headquarters of the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Airport Authority of India are situated.
Address: Airport Director, Airports Authority of India, Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi-110003
The old Palam Airport that was used for domestic as well as international flights is now Terminal 1 of Indira Gandhi International Airport. This Terminal is used only for domestic flights of low cost airlines. There are two main buildings 1A and 1D that cater to arrivals and departures respectively. This Terminal handles more than 12 million passengers in a year.
The airport's operator, Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL), is looking to make the airport the next international transit hub.
Apart from excellent facilities for passengers there is a separate Service Area for VVIP passengers. The Airport is very accessible from the city center by Metro and from anywhere else by taxi, bus and auto rikshaw. Many passengers also use the prepaid taxi service which ensures fair rates and efficient service. There is also a free shuttle service between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Facilities available at the airport include free medical facility, car parking, help desks and information center, ATM machines and money exchange counters, new mobile phone booths, telephone booths, food and drink stalls, rest rooms and baby-care rooms and even a spa and massage center to relax.
Other expanded facilities include a bigger and better Customs Office block and Warehouse and also special facilities for Haj travelers that are increasing in number every year.
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