BY ROHIT VAID
New Delhi, April 25: As it awaits clear health safety guidelines from the Centre, the national capitals IGI Airport is preparing Terminal-3 to eventually open up for full fledged flight operations.
Accordingly, DIAL, which manages and operates IGIA may temporarily shut-down Terminal-2 and the T-1D.
“DIAL is assessing the quantum of domestic demand along with the Airlines, once the suspension of operations is lifted,” DIAL’s Chief Executive Videh Kumar Jaipuriar told IANS.
“Various options, including the potential of consolidating terminal operations, are being evaluated depending on the airline requirements as well as government notifications that maybe issued for time to time.”
At present, T2 is exclusively being used by budget airlines such as SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir.
On the other hand, construction work was getting underway at T1 to further develop the termonal into an integrated domestic cum international gateway.
“Even during the ongoing suspension of commercial operations due to the lockdown, Delhi Airport continues to handle 25-30 operations per day – primarily cargo and evacuation flights. Also, as of now, there are no immediate plans to defer any ongoing expansion works,” Jaipuriar said.
Meanwhile, the firm has initiated various steps to prepare the terminals buildings and internal layout for the eventual restart of operations.
According to the company, it plans to encourage compliance of social distancing norms at the airport by deploying additional queue managers at kerb side (city side), check-in halls, security check areas and boarding gates, with social distancing markers.
Besides, the airport will provide additional seating arrangements for passengers near the check-in counters, security areas and near immigration desks.
Furthermore, in order to avoid close contact and crowding at the counters, passengers will be encouraged to check-in at home or use self-service facilities such as self check-in facility, self bag tag facility, scan and fly.
Apart from these, DIAL will also have facilities to isolate suspected Covid-19 passengers at the airport in accordance to government direction.
Lately, the airport has emerged as a vital tool in the country’s efforts to restock key medical supplies across the country and to repatriate foreigners.
The national lockdown which has been deemed necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19, has dealt a heavy blow to its operations and revenues.
Nevertheless, IGI Airport has been a busy place, as employees are unhindered to make the key infrastructure facility functional, thereby, allowing repatriation of stranded passengers and to connect India with the global supply chains via cargo ops.
Currently, commercial domestic and international flights are banned since March 25, 2020.
On Thursday, Centre designated the airport as a major hub for “Import and Distribution” of Covid-19 related medical essentials.
So far over 20 lakh pieces of face masks, 2 Lakh bottles of sanitizers, 70,000 body suits, 1.5 lakh PPE kits and 50,000 other medical equipment have been channelized across India through Delhi Airport.
The airport is a hub of major domestic airlines such as Air India, IndiGo, Vistara and SpiceJet. (IANS)
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)