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The capital city of India, Delhi has a wide and developed mode of communication network in all three modes of transportation. When it comes to air transportation, Delhi is well equipped with two airports viz. the Indira Gandhi International Airport and the Safdarjung Airport. The city has a good international airports in Delhi and domestic airports in Delhi in IGIA with both international and domestic sections located separately. The two airports of Delhi and their services and facilities are mentioned below:
Indira Gandhi International Airport
The Indira Gandhi international Airport (IGIA) is the prime international airport of Delhi witnessing a wide network of flights both from within the country and from outside India. The airport is named after the former prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi. The Airport Council International ranked the airport as the second best in the category of 25-40 million passengers in 2013.
It is also the busiest airport in India and has the capacity to handle more than 46 million passengers annually. The IGIA handles more than half the air traffic of South Asia with huge air traffic from across the world flying in to the national capital Delhi.
Domestic Flight Section
The terminal 1 is the oldest terminal and is the domestic airports of Delhi and the domestic terminal section of IGIA. The domestic sub terminals of terminal 1 include terminals 1A, 1B, domestic arrival terminal and terminal 1D. The terminal 1 witnesses departures and arrivals of domestic flights. The terminal 1C of IGIA however operates both domestic and international flights. The domestic flight section witnesses Indian Airlines domestic flights, Alliance Air flights, private airlines like Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Spice Jet, Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Indigo and Go Air. It also witnesses private aircraft which takes off from terminal 1B.
The terminal 1C witnesses domestic arrivals and is equipped with a larger luggage reclaim area. The terminal 1D is the newly built terminal for domestic departures. Built with a floor space having the capacity enough to handle 12 million passengers per year, the terminal started working from 15th April 2009 and has well equipped self check in counters. And also 72 Common Use Terminal Equipment enables check in counters. You can reach the airport in your own transport, cabs or by using the Airport Express Line.
International Flight Section- Terminal 3
The terminal 3 operates both domestic and international flights. All international flights from across the world along with the fully in service domestic flights are operated from terminal 3. The terminal 3 is located around 9 kms away from the terminal 1 and is connected by shuttle services in between the terminals. The terminal 3 is the biggest terminal of IGIA and is considered as one of the biggest terminals of the world with developed facilities. It has been regularly operating since July 2010 and is the 24th largest building in the world. It has an area of 5, 40,000 sq m and the capacity to handle 36 million passengers annually.
The terminal 3 has many facilities laid out for travelers including lounges, medical facilities, nap and massage lounges, prayer room, smoker’s lounge, children’s room, shower and massage lounges, branded shops, eateries, immigration counters, WI-fi and many other added facilities for the convenient of the passengers. The terminal also has 240 check in counters, 75 aero bridges at 65 different contact stands, at least 54 parking bays and 96 immigration counters.
The terminal 3 being a two tier building also has around 15 X-ray screening areas, duty free shopping places in addition to other facilities. The terminal is also connected to Delhi by a well connected eight lane motorway and also the Delhi Mass Rapid Transit System. The terminal 3 of IGIA has the first automated parking management and guidance system of India and has a multi level parking system with 7 levels of parking with a capacity to hold 6300 cars.
The following list includes the name of the airlines and the destinations they travel to from terminal 3 of IGIA:
Air Arabia: Sharjah
Air Astana: Almaty
Air China: Beijing
Air India: Dhaka, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, Birmingham, Bangkok, Singapore & Sydney
Air Mauritius: Mauritius
All Nippon Airways: Tokyo
Ariana Afghan Airways: Kabul
Asiana Airlines: Seoul
Austrian Airlines: Vienna
Biman Bangladesh Airlines:Dhaka
British Airways: London & Heathrow
Cathay Pacific: Bangkok, Hong Kong
China Airlines: Rome & Fiumicino, Taipei &Taoyuan
Druk Air: Paro
Ethiopian Airlines: Addis Ababa & Hangzhou
Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi
Iraqi Airways: Baghdad, Basrah
Japan Airlines: Tokyo, Nanita
Kam Air: Kabul
Kenya Airways: Nairobi
Kuwait Airways: Kuwait
Oman Air: Muscat
Lufthansa: Munich, Frankfurt
Mahan Air: Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Malaysia Airlines: Kuala Lampur
Mihin Lanka: Colombo
Pakistan International Airlines: Lahore and Karachi
Kyrgyzstan Air Company: Bishkek
Qatar Airways: Doha
Royal Jordanian: Amman-Queen Alia
Safi Airways: Kabul
Saudia: Damman, Riyadh
Sri Lankan Airlines: Colombo
Swiss International Airlines: Zurich
Thai Airways International: Bangkok
Thai Smile: Phuket
Tajk Air: Dushanbe
Tashi Air: Paro
Turkish Airlines: Istanbul
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat
United Airlines: Newark
Uzbekistan Airways: Tashkent
Virgin Atlantic Airways: London & Heathrow
Other terminals in Indira Gandhi International Airport:
During the special Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, flights for Hajj are directed to this terminal to avoid disruption of other passengers traveling to other places. It was started from 28th September 2011 and is used for two months starting from the second month after Eid-Ul-Fitr.
The cargo terminal in IGIA manages the cargo operations. The IGIA received award in the year 2007 for its organized and brilliant cargo handling system. The Cargo terminal is located at a distance of 1 km from the terminal 3.
There is ongoing planning of terminal 5 and 6 for only international flights. The terminal 3 will then be used only for domestic flights.
How to reach:
By Road: One can take the 8 lane Delhi Gurgaon Expressway. There are low floor AC buses managed by DTC and taxis available from the city to the airport.
By Rail:The airport is connected to Delhi by the Delhi Airport Metro Express metro line. This express runs 22.7 kms from terminal 3 of IGIA to New Delhi railway station every 15 mins.
Important Contact Numbers of the IGIA: New Delhi Airport Customer Care Number: 0124-3376000 Terminal 1A & 1B: 011-25661000 International Cargo Terminal: 01125601017
Safdarjung Airport is located in Safdarjung area of New Delhi and was established during the British rule as Wellington Airfield. It is spread across an area of began its operations as an airport from the year 1929 and India’s second airport. It was used during the Second World War and also during the Indo Pakistan War of 1947. It was Delhi’s main airport until the year 1962 when the Palam Airport (Indira Gandhi International Airport) came into operation.
The Delhi Flying Club was established in the Safdarjung Airport in the year 1928 with two de Haviland Moth aircrafts named Delhi and Roshanara. The Safdarjung Airport operated till the year 2001 until January 2002, when it was closed it for flying activities due to security reasons post 9/11 attacks. Currently, the Safdarjung Airport is used for VVIP helicopter rides to IGIA. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the headquarters of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are located in Safdarjung Airport.
The Airports Authority of India headquarters which manages majority of the airports in India is located in the Safdarjung Airport. The ministry of Civil Aviation is located in the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan on the grounds of the airport. There is also the Delhi liaison office of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi located in the administrative block of the airport.
How to reach: One can take buses or auto rickshaws to Safdarjung Airport from any part of Delhi.