Delhi airport has proactively reduced the number of peak hour flights at the T3 terminal from 22 per hour in pre-Covid time to 19 in November and is looking to shift more flights to other terminals to reduce congestion.
Delhi airport, which is the country’s busiest, handles over 1,100 flights daily. T3 is the busiest of its three terminals. Between December 1-7, T3 handled 503 domestic and 253 international flights. In contrast, terminals T1 and T2 handled 180 and 243 domestic flights respectively.
The pick-up in air traffic before the holiday season has put a strain in airport infrastructure resulting in long queues at security and immigration. Shifting of flights from T3 to other two terminals is being discussed to ease congestion.
For the past seven days, nation-wide domestic traffic has surged to over 400,000 passengers daily. Delhi handled an average 1,95,775 passengers (domestic plus international) daily between December 1-7.
“We are currently working to bring the number of flights further down. We are in touch with the airlines and working on a number of flights that can be shifted to T1 and T2,” Delhi International Airport Limited said in a statement.
The airport operator said the impact on on-time performance and challenges in passenger connections from domestic to international and vice versa can be assessed only after the shifting of flights.
The steps are being taken following a review meeting chaired by civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on congestion in busy airport terminals.
“We, along with stakeholders – CISF and Immigration, are working constantly 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,” DIAL said.
The airport operator is already using technology including an AI-based passenger tracking system for proactive monitoring and messaging passengers on wait times inside the terminals.