New Delhi: India’s civil aviation ministry and aviation regulator are working with Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd, or DIAL, the operator of the Capital’s airport, to reduce taxiing delays by shuffling the use of runways by airlines starting late August.
Several passengers have complained of having to sit in taxiing planes for at least 20 minutes after touchdown on a new runway at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. Planes often have to taxi up to 9km from the runway to the domestic departure terminal. Airlines complained of burning extra fuel while taxiing on the ground.
The key change being planned is that, of the three runways at IGI airport, two old ones will be likely reserved for use by all domestic flights. Since these runways—27 and 28—are close to the departure terminal, planes will spend less time taxiing.
Only when the two runways cannot handle such operations—for instance, because of weather conditions—will airlines be allowed to use the new runway (Runway 29).
“We will use (Runway) 28 primarily and when not possible because of winds, (Runway) 29 will be used. Trials are on from today,” a civil aviation ministry official, who asked not to be named, said on Monday. The official added that the aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGCA, will issue orders soon after the trials to implement the new schedules for using the runways. According to this plan, the new runway will be used for international flights as also Runway 28.
DGCA and DIAL have conducted simulation exercises to ascertain aircraft movement together with the air traffic control, added a senior executive of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, which controls DIAL. The executive didn’t want to be identified.
The airport records around 650 aircraft movements daily.