IndiGo, India’s leading low-cost carrier, became the first airline to operate from the newly constructed fourth runway, 11L-29R, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), New Delhi last week.
The inauguration is a notable not only for IndiGo but also for Delhi Airport, as it becomes the first airport in the country to have four operational runways.
The formal inauguration of the runway is set to be conducted by the Honorable Minister for Civil Aviation, Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia, who also inaugurated the new, dual elevated Eastern Cross Taxiways at Delhi Airport.
The operationalization of the new runway 11L-29R was made possible through the collaborative efforts of IndiGo’s operations team and the airport operator, GMR Delhi International Airport Limited (GMR-DIAL).
Validation flight by A320
A special validation flight was organized by IndiGo, which involved an Airbus A320 aircraft carrying inspectors and officials, successfully landing on Runway 29R at 1520h IST on July 11, 2023.
IndiGo’s dedicated operations team worked closely with GMR-DIAL, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to establish a Route Navigation Performance (RNP) based approach and missed approach procedures for the new runway.
A draft approach proposed by AAI underwent validation on a simulator before being cleared for flight validation. Additionally, a comprehensive safety risk assessment was conducted to ensure safe operations during this approach, accompanied by trainer sessions for the Flight Crew operating the validation flight.
Capt. Ashim Mittra, Senior Vice President of Flight Operations at IndiGo, expressed excitement about the inauguration, stating, “We are thrilled with the addition of the new runway at Delhi Airport.”
“The fourth runway will significantly increase the capacity of the country’s busiest airport. This development also showcases the Government of India’s unwavering support for the aviation sector.”
“We eagerly anticipate furthering our strong partnership with GMR-DIAL and working together to foster the growth of the civil aviation sector in the country.”
Notably, IndiGo holds the distinction of being the largest flight operator from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, operating over 14,000 scheduled flight movements each month.
Advantages of Delhi Airport fourth runway
The inauguration of the fourth runway at Delhi Airport brings about several advantages that positively impact both IndiGo and the aviation sector in India:
With the addition of the fourth runway, Delhi Airport’s capacity for flight operations will significantly increase. The enhanced capacity will ease congestion and lead to improved overall efficiency in managing flight schedules.
The new runway will enable airlines, including IndiGo, to introduce new routes and expand their network of destinations, thereby improving air connectivity domestically and internationally.
By distributing air traffic across four operational runways, the chances of flight delays due to air traffic congestion will decrease, leading to a smoother travel experience for passengers.
A well-connected and efficient airport contributes to economic growth by facilitating increased tourism, trade, and business activities. The fourth runway’s operationalization aligns with the government’s vision of enhancing India’s aviation sector.
The successful operationalization of the fourth runway at Delhi Airport exemplifies the significance of collaboration between airlines, airport operators, regulatory authorities, and other stakeholders.
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