With about 50 VVIP aircraft expected to land in the Capital for the G20 Summit, Delhi’s airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), assured that all arrangements are in place to handle the surge in traffic at IGI.
“We would like to assure all travelers that Delhi Airport is fully equipped with ample parking space for aircraft. So far, we have received requests for cancellation of approximately 80 departing and 80 arriving domestic flights over three days, which is a mere 6% of the normal domestic operations at Delhi Airport. The restrictions will not cause any impact on international flights,” DIAL said in a statement.
The statement said that the current cancellation of flights has no connection to the parking of aircraft. “We have already provided the required parking. Decision on cancellations of flights have been taken by airlines possibly in light of traffic restrictions due to G20 Summit,” it said.
“We are committed to working closely with airlines to minimise any inconvenience caused to passengers,” the statement added.
DIAL officials also said heads of state and officials would most likely land at Palam airport, in accordance with protocol.
Amid apprehensions that hundreds of commercial flights could be rescheduled or cancelled due to parking constraints at the airport, a senior DIAL official said, “That is a gross overestimation.”
The G20 Summit will be held in the national capital on September 9 and 10.
The Indian Express had reported last week that the capital’s airports — Indira Gandhi International Airport and the IAF base in Palam — only have parking space for about 40 aircraft, and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was learnt to be exploring the option of sending the rest to Jaipur, Lucknow, Amritsar and Indore.
The issue of parking aircraft of delegates was discussed at a recent coordination meeting, chaired by the chief of protocol from the MEA. Besides the MEA, officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Indian Air Force, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Intelligence Bureau and Customs were among those present at the meeting.
“The chief of protocol is learnt to have informed that about 50 special aircraft would be arriving. Specific details of the aircraft configuration, date, time of arrival are expected later. The chief of protocol also informed that about 13 heads of states/ delegates would arrive on commercial flights. DIAL officials said these specified flights would be parked in Bay-1 and Bay-3, which are very close to the ceremonial lounge,” sources had said.
“DIAL officials are learnt to have informed that they have identified parking space at IGI Airport, Terminal-1 and cargo terminal; the IAF said 18 aircraft can be accommodated at the Palam base,” said sources.