Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) will spend more than Rs 9,500 crore to almost double the capacity of the airport in the next three years. Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has won the contract and entrusted with the entire engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work.
Codenamed Phase 3A, the infrastructure expansion would include the construction of a fourth runway, expansion of T1 apron area, and development of dual elevated Eastern Cross Taxiway, said I Prabhakara Rao, deputy managing director, GMR Group, which holds 54 per cent state in DIAL. The project also includes expansion of T3.
Work on the project is slated to be completed by June 2022.
The operator expects that after the expansion, Terminal 1 will have an overall handling capacity of 85 million passengers per year, from the current 70 million.
Rao said that the cost expansion will be met through a combination of international cash accruals of around Rs 3,000 crore, real estate monetisation and borrowings.
The group has already raised around $350 million through 10-year secured bonds from overseas markets.
DIAL’s capacity expansion plan has already been approved by the regulator, Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), paving way for the airport to increase its passenger charge for the third control period for the expansion project. “I am expecting the new tariffs by October,” GRK Babu, CFO of Delhi Airport had said in a recent analyst call.
DIAL has embarked on monetising land parcels around the airport. Recently, it concluded a deal with Bharti Realty for monetising 10 million sq ft of land. The data released last year by Airports Council International, the trade grouping of world airports, showed that Delhi, the country’s busiest airport by passenger traffic, grew 14.1 per cent year on year to 63.45 million in 2017. It was the first time that it breached the 60-million passenger mark. In 2018, it was just below the 70-million mark.
The new air traffic control (ATC) tower, which will open in October this year, and the fourth runway, to be launched in 2021, would help it reduce air congestion and handle more flights.
The master plan will be implemented in three modular phases — Phase 3A (2018-22), 3 B (2022-25) and Phase 4 (2026 onwards).
“Terminal 1 handles domestic traffic for low-cost carriers. These have registered phenomenal growth in the last few years, calling for an expansion of the terminal. Delhi Metro under its Phase 3 programme is connecting this terminal to catchment areas of central and south Delhi. Since T1 is operating beyond its capacity, the expansion will begin from there and cover the airside, terminal building and city,” said Rao.