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New terminal at New Delhi Airport.

WITH a vivid metallic facade of mirror-like copper plates and Hindi 'Mudr?' hand sculptures at the arrival lounge of the brand new terminal building, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in New Delhi is acclaimed by its developers as "the gateway to modern India." The eighth largest airport terminal in the world, with an annual capacity of 34 million passengers, Terminal 3 is one of various large-scale construction projects in preparation for the Commonwealth Games scheduled for October this year in New Delhi. The airport's four runways are already in operation and by the end of July 2010 all of the airport's international traffic and some national scheduled traffic will shift to this terminal. As regards the older terminals, 1-B has been demolished, 1-C will continue to be used for domestic arrivals, and low cost domestic airlines plus charters will continue to use the newly opened 1-D. Decisions on the future use of T-2 and 1-A have yet to be taken.

The cost of the whole airport upgrade (including T-3 and 1-D) was USD 2.7 billion--with the lion's share going to 1-D. The work on the massive structure that spreads across 20 acres began in February 2007, when Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro were hired as the main contractors. Munich Airport operator Flughafen MUnchen GmbH took care of the operational readiness and airport transfer (ORAT) programme during the trials and transfer of airport operations.

Designed by US-based architecture and engineering firm HOK (NOTE--SPELLING IS CORRECT), the nine-level integrated terminal has 168 check-in counters and 90 immigration counters. The terminal has four boarding piers measuring 1.25 kilometres from one end to the other, that connect to 78 aerobridges supplied by Shinmaywa of Japan and ThyssenKrupp of Germany (NOTE--SPELLINGS ARE CORRECT), including the ones those serving the upper decks of Airbus A380s. The bridges will be used for 90% of passenger embarkations and disembarkations, as only those passengers travelling on small planes will use vehicles to reach their planes.

ThyssenKrupp also supplied 63 elevators, 34 escalators and 92 travelators (moving walkways), including one that is 118 meters long and installed in the new terminal. The terminal's in-line baggage handling system has four sorter machines and seven kilometres of conveyor belts, with a capacity of handling up to 12,800 bags per hour. The five level baggage screening system has 41 X-Ray machines and automatic bag tag readers.

About 100,000 square metres of curtain wall has been imported from China and 110,000 square metres of granite flooring has come from Bahrain. According to Delhi International Airport Limited, "for a luxurious look inside the terminal, 170,000 square metres of carpet material has been imported from [carpet specialists] Brintons in the UK."

The work on a dedicated high-speed metro line connecting the terminal to the city centre is nearing completion. It will allow departing passengers to check in at the station of embarkation. For vehicles, there is a multi-level parking garage with a capacity of 4,300 cars in addition to a separate surface parking area for 2,200 cars.

Security is achieved through a 50 square metre video wall, which holds 28 screens to display information inputs from 3,000 security cameras. There are also 8,000 BOSE speakers specially designed for the terminal. This is in addition to around 800 flight information display systems installed across the terminal.

There will also be a 60-room hotel for transit passengers within the airport compound and 20,000 square metres of duty free shopping, which will be operated by Irish retailer Aer Rianta International (NOTE--SPELLING IS CORRECT) working with local company Indian Duty Free Services (IDFS).
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Author:Verma, Raghavendra
Publication:International News
Date:Jun 1, 2010
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