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Readying for takeoff


The most important step in the modernisation of the Delhi Airport is the construction of the new integrated passenger terminal (T3) which needs to be ready before the Commonwealth Games 2010. Yogender Malik reports.

T ermed as the third largest terminal in the world after Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 and Beijing Capital Airport’s Terminal 3, the colossal and ultra modern Terminal 3 (T3) at Indira Gandhi International Airport is likely to change the face of Delhi’s airport.

Construction activities are on at a brisk pace, so as to get it ready before the Commonwealth Games. T3 phase will have a total project outlay of Rs 9000 crore and it would enable the Delhi Airport to have a capacity to handle 60 million passengers per year by 2010.

Measuring 330m by 250m after completion, this terminal will handle 100% of the international and 50% of the domestic traffic. With a total floor space of 480,000 sq m it is designed by HOK International in consultation with Mott McDonald and is being constructed by L&T and Meinhardt Engineering. Airbiz of Australia is the airport planner while project management is being taken care of by Parsons Brinckerhoff International Inc. The interior and retail design is being carried out by Woodhead International of Australia.

The structure
With a roof height of 27m, T3 will also have a five level in-line baggage handling system and 160 check-in counters as well as 70 desks for immigration. The building will be on two levels with departures on the upper floor and arrivals on the lower.

Passengers that have checked-in will pass over a bridge to the airside and will be able to look down to the arrivals floor from the bridge. The terminal will feature 74 aerobridges, 30 remote parking bays for passenger movement to and from the aircraft. Six of the aerobridges will be compatible with the A380. T3 will also have 55 new aircraft stands served by boarding bridges. There will be an integrated 4,300-space multi-storey car park at the terminal.

T3 is the first phase of the airport expansion in which a U shaped building would be developed in a modular manner, to allow for fast and efficient construction and ease of maintenance. By 2010, all international and full service domestic carriers will operate from this newly constructed terminal, while Terminal 1 will serve as an exclusive terminal for low cost airlines.

The new building will be connected to the city by a dedicated high-speed metro railway line and a six-lane access road, connecting it to NH 8. Terminal 3 would be the terminating station for the Metro rail. The Metro airport link has been designed on the lines of the Heathrow link in London.

It would have five stations with six-coach trains running at a speed of 135 km per hour. The distance from Ajmeri Gate to IGI airport is expected to be covered in 15 minutes.

Work in progress
Most of the excavation work for the Passengers Terminal Building has already been carried out. Construction of the four boarding piers has commenced. Concrete reinforcement work for the pier footings is at an advanced stage. The piers will house 55 contact stands for aircraft. Over 90% of the passengers at T3 will be serviced through aerobridges.

First phase would use around 55 lakh Metric Tonne (MT) of aggregates, 4.5 lakh MT of cement and over 90,000 MT of steel. Our assessment is that construction of T3 is nearly 40% complete and it will be commissioned on schedule (March 31, 2010).

According to Arun Arora, associate VP, communications at DIAL: “The progress of T3 is on track despite several major challenges. Numerous encroachments, which included entire villages and industrial units, had to be shifted before work could begin. Additionally, protected wildlife species present at the site had to be relocated. The Master Plan of the airport also had to undergo a re-draft due to constraints placed by the orientation of the site.”

“DIAL achieved these milestones despite numerous challenges – chief of them being the fact that the modernisation work is being carried out while the airport continues to remain in operation round the clock. It has been an enormous task to execute this project while causing minimum inconvenience to passengers or any disruption to the airport operations.

In addition, numerous encroachments on the airport property had to be cleared before work could commence. Some part of the airport land was also home to some wild animals which had to be relocated to a sanctuary. Moreover, several existing facilities within the airport had to be relocated for the expansion works which was a major logistical challenge,” Arora adds.

Terminal 4 and 5
Terminal 4 and 5 will come at a later stage, and when completed, all international flights will move to these two terminals, while T3 will then be used only for handling domestic air traffic. All three terminals will cost close to US$ 8 billion for construction and are likely to increase the annual passenger volume capacity to 100 million.

Other players
Areva: Areva’s Transmission and Distribution Division (T&D) India Ltd has won a contract worth approximately 40 million Euros for the supply of a substation package for Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. This contract is one of the biggest recently to be awarded in India. Areva will design and manufacture a 66 KV substation which will supply to the new T3.

Systemair: The ventilation company Systemair received the order for approximately 470,000 Euro for the supply of fans at T3. The fans will be delivered from Systemair’s plants in Sweden, Germany, Slovenia and Singapore. Some products will be assembled at its new Alwar premises.

ABB: Power and automation technology group ABB has won Rs312 crore order for supply of electrical products and systems for T3.

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