DIAL Ordered to Cut Air Train Stations at Delhi Airport
AVIATION & AIRPORTS

DIAL Ordered to Cut Air Train Stations at Delhi Airport

The central government has issued a firm directive to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), altering the blueprint for the proposed air train at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Originally slated for six stations along an 8 km route, plans have now been revised to a mere three stations, reshaping the landscape of intra-terminal transfers and security measures at one of India's premier aviation hubs.

Reported by the Times of India, this government intervention aims to streamline passenger transit within the airport and bolster security protocols on India's inaugural automated people-mover (APM) system.

DIAL's initial vision for the air train encompassed six stations sprawling across the airport's vicinity, while the Airports Authority of India (AAI) advocated for a more concise network of four stops over a 6 km stretch.

The mandated configuration now dictates a single stop between Terminal 1 and the combined Terminal 2/3, with the two other stations designated as Terminal 1 and Terminal 2/3 themselves. The inclusion of Aerocity as the third stop appears imminent.

Previously, DIAL's proposal entertained additional stations servicing Aerocity's bustling hotel and commercial precincts. However, the government's directive necessitates a recalibration of plans, not only in terms of infrastructure but also in financial considerations.

The projected cost of the air train project stands at Rs 3,500 crore, presenting formidable funding hurdles as the government mandates DIAL to independently finance the endeavor. Moreover, any levies imposed on passengers as development fees are only permissible post-project completion.

DIAL contends that AAI's streamlined four-stop proposal lacks substantial revenue streams, potentially leading to a higher burden of cost recovery through user development fees (UDF). In contrast, DIAL's multi-stop model promised more diverse funding avenues owing to increased foot traffic, potentially rendering it a more economically viable option for travelers.

Now compelled to reevaluate its approach, DIAL must devise alternative models and assess their financial ramifications for passengers concerning UDF upon operationalization.

The urgency for efficient infrastructure upgrades is underscored by the ongoing expansion of Indira Gandhi International Airport. With Terminal 1 expected to accommodate up to 4.5 crore passengers annually (CPA) and the collective capacity of Terminals 3 and 2 standing at 6.4 CPA, the need for seamless passenger transit is more pressing than ever.

Future plans outline the replacement of Terminal 2 with a larger Terminal 4 by 2032, augmenting the combined capacity of Terminals 3 and 4 to 8.9 CPA, and elevating the airport's total capacity to 13.4 CPA. As such, the anticipated surge in passenger transfers between Terminals 1 and 3/4 reinforces the imperative for swift and effective infrastructure enhancements.

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The central government has issued a firm directive to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), altering the blueprint for the proposed air train at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Originally slated for six stations along an 8 km route, plans have now been revised to a mere three stations, reshaping the landscape of intra-terminal transfers and security measures at one of India's premier aviation hubs. Reported by the Times of India, this government intervention aims to streamline passenger transit within the airport and bolster security protocols on India's inaugural automated people-mover (APM) system. DIAL's initial vision for the air train encompassed six stations sprawling across the airport's vicinity, while the Airports Authority of India (AAI) advocated for a more concise network of four stops over a 6 km stretch. The mandated configuration now dictates a single stop between Terminal 1 and the combined Terminal 2/3, with the two other stations designated as Terminal 1 and Terminal 2/3 themselves. The inclusion of Aerocity as the third stop appears imminent. Previously, DIAL's proposal entertained additional stations servicing Aerocity's bustling hotel and commercial precincts. However, the government's directive necessitates a recalibration of plans, not only in terms of infrastructure but also in financial considerations. The projected cost of the air train project stands at Rs 3,500 crore, presenting formidable funding hurdles as the government mandates DIAL to independently finance the endeavor. Moreover, any levies imposed on passengers as development fees are only permissible post-project completion. DIAL contends that AAI's streamlined four-stop proposal lacks substantial revenue streams, potentially leading to a higher burden of cost recovery through user development fees (UDF). In contrast, DIAL's multi-stop model promised more diverse funding avenues owing to increased foot traffic, potentially rendering it a more economically viable option for travelers. Now compelled to reevaluate its approach, DIAL must devise alternative models and assess their financial ramifications for passengers concerning UDF upon operationalization. The urgency for efficient infrastructure upgrades is underscored by the ongoing expansion of Indira Gandhi International Airport. With Terminal 1 expected to accommodate up to 4.5 crore passengers annually (CPA) and the collective capacity of Terminals 3 and 2 standing at 6.4 CPA, the need for seamless passenger transit is more pressing than ever. Future plans outline the replacement of Terminal 2 with a larger Terminal 4 by 2032, augmenting the combined capacity of Terminals 3 and 4 to 8.9 CPA, and elevating the airport's total capacity to 13.4 CPA. As such, the anticipated surge in passenger transfers between Terminals 1 and 3/4 reinforces the imperative for swift and effective infrastructure enhancements.

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