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Delhi Airport Gets Fourth Runway, Dual-Elevated Taxiway

An Air India Boeing 787-8. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, India’s busiest airport, has reached a significant milestone with the inauguration of a fourth operational runway, RWY 11L/29R, and a state-of-the-art dual elevated taxiway, Eastern Cross Taxiway (ECT). These new facilities were inaugurated on Jul 14, 2023, by Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Union Civil Aviation Minister of India, and are set to revolutionize the airport’s capacity and efficiency.

Enhanced Capacity with RWY 11L/29R

The newly constructed RWY 11L/29R, a remarkable feat by Larsen and Toubro (L&T), becomes Delhi Airport’s fourth runway. Running parallel to RWY 11R/29L, this 4.4-kilometer-long and 45-meter-wide runway is equipped with CAT III-B / CAT II technology. The addition of RWY 11L/29R is expected to increase the airport’s daily flight capacity from 1,500 to an impressive 2,000 movements. This boost will effectively cater to the ever-growing demand for air travel within the Indian aviation industry.

 

With sustainability in mind, the airport aims to reduce its carbon footprint significantly. IndiGo operated a validation flight to carry out checks and inspect the runway before it could be put into service. Soon after, an Air India Airbus A320neo to Jammu, India, was the first scheduled flight to take off from the runway on Jul 14, 2023. For the time being, the runway will handle only departures until RWY 10/28 undergoes recarpeting and repairs, after which RWY 11L/29R will be fully operational for both arrivals and departures.

Efficient Connectivity with Eastern Cross Taxiway (ECT)

Accompanying the new runway, the Eastern Cross Taxiway (ECT) is a revolutionary dual-elevated taxiway positioned above the IGI T3 Access Road. Spanning 2.1 kilometers in length and 202 meters in width, the ECT is Code F compliant, allowing seamless navigation for widebody aircraft like Airbus A380 and Boeing 747.

This innovation significantly reduces taxi time between the northern and southern airfields on the airport’s eastern side. The ECT not only streamlines airfield movements but also brings substantial environmental benefits. Reducing the distance from RWY 29R to Terminals 1 and 2 from 9 kilometers to a mere 2 kilometers, the ECT helps save approximately 350 kilograms of fuel and reduces carbon emissions by up to 1,114 kilograms per aircraft. These efforts align with the airport’s vision to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions within the next seven years.

Future Development Projects

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is proactively driving several developmental projects to accommodate the burgeoning demand for air travel in India. Among these initiatives, Terminal 1 is undergoing a significant expansion, expected to be completed by the end of 2023. With more than three times its current area, Terminal 1 will serve as an integrated facility for arrivals and departures, doubling its capacity from 20 million to 40 million passengers annually.

Additionally, the airport is actively adopting digital solutions, such as facial recognition and e-boarding passes, to ensure a faster and more convenient passenger experience while moving towards a paperless environment.

Vihaan Kushwaha

Author

  • Vihaan Kushwaha

    It all started at the age of five when Vihaan got a Qantas 747 model from Sydney Airport. Since then, he has been an AvGeek, collecting aircraft models, safety cards, and even magazines! He has flown over 120 flights to more than 25 countries worldwide. Vihaan shares his passion for photography and aviation by spotting at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport and wherever flights take him. Apart from being an AvGeek, Vihaan is currently an undergraduate business management student and aims to pursue a career in aviation consulting and analysis. You can check out some of his spotting work at @aviation.del on Instagram.

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