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Delhi International Airport: Aviation Ministry promises 4 point ACTION plan after passengers complain of HUGE rush | Aviation News




Micro-blogging website Twitter is abuzz with multiple passengers and eminent personalities lodging their dissatisfaction over travel experience via the Delhi International Airport’s Terminal 3. Many passengers took to social media and tagged Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to complain about long waiting hours and some also shared pictures of long queues at Terminal 3 (T3) of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). With long queues and waiting period for passengers at the Delhi airport, civil aviation ministry officials said an action plan is being implemented to address the congestion. 

IGIA, also the country’s largest airport, has three terminals — T1, T2 and T3. All international flights as well as some domestic services operate from T3. On an average, it handles around 1.90 lakh passengers and about 1,200 flights daily. The officials said that a four-point action plan has been drawn up by airport operator DIAL and the ministry to put in place immediate remedial measures.

1. Reduce peak hour departures

The first measure Ministry has proposed is to reduce the number of peak hour departures to 14. Discussions are also going on with domestic airlines to reduce the number of flights operated during peak hours at the airport, especially at T3. According to the officials, the effort is to progressively reduce the number of peak hour departures to 14.

The spokesperson said the number of departures during the peak hours at T3 has declined from 22 during the pre-pandemic period to 19 in November, and discussions are on to look at further reducing the flight numbers.

The officials said discussions are also going on with airlines to reduce the number of flights during peak hours at the three terminals. The effort is to have 14 flights at T3, 11 in T2 and 8 in T1 during these hours, they added.

2.  Increasing number of X-ray

Another proposal is to increase the X-ray screening systems to 16 from 14 at present. A spokesperson for the airport operator DIAL (Delhi International Airport Ltd) said it is working constantly with the stakeholders — CISF and Immigration — to cope with the demand which includes deployment of additional systems and manpower.

“We have deployed additional manpower to guide passengers, especially at the key choke points and shifted one additional X-Ray machine. Additional manpower requirements will also have to be addressed by all stakeholders, including CISF and Immigration, to further improve the situation,” the DIAL spokesperson said in a statement.

The officials said an additional X-ray machine has been installed at T3 domestic and more manpower has been deployed in the ATRS (Automatic Tray Retrieval System) area to help passengers for tray preparation and congestion management.

3. Demolish reserve lounge

The peak hours are from 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 8 pm. Among other measures, the officials said the reserve lounge would be demolished and two entry points at Gate 1A and Gate 8B at T3 would be converted for passenger usage.

4. AI-based passenger tracking system

DIAL is leveraging technology, wherever possible, like use of AI-based passenger tracking system for proactive monitoring and messaging to passengers and airport employees on waiting time. In future, the implementation of DigiYatra should also help reduce the waiting time, the statement said.

In the last two days, the officials said DIAL has taken various steps such as having additional traffic martials at the departure forecourt of T3 to avoid vehicular congestion.

Besides, dedicated people have been deployed at the entry gates to help passengers.

Awareness posters have also been put at the entry gates to make sure that passengers are ready with boarding cards. On December 7, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia held a detailed discussion with heads of all major Indian airports, CISF and immigration officials on capacities deployed. The discussion was also on the capacities required at every point to process domestic and international passengers smoothly through the peak travel season.

With PTI inputs