New Delhi IGI airport to commission new runway ahead of schedule

Indira Gandhi Airport third runway commences operations soon


Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi is undergoing a transformation. Delhi International Airport (P) Limited (DIAL) is carrying out an extensive modernisation programme at IGIA.

A key step in this process is the commissioning of the airport’s third runway. This runway, currently in the final stages of development, will enable IGIA to significantly increase its capacity to handle aircraft movements.

Christened 11-29, the 75m wide runway (including shoulders) will be among the longest in Asia at 4430m. The runway has been constructed with a full length parallel taxiway, and a cross taxiway to connect it to the existing airport. The taxiway network to support the new runway is 15 km long. The runway works have been completed much ahead of the scheduled date of Feb-09.

The runway has been built to Code F standards – that means it is long, wide and strong enough to accommodate super sized aircraft such as the Airbus A380 or the Antonov An-225. In addition, the runway will also be equipped with CAT IIIB Instrument Landing System at both ends. This will allow aircraft to land even when the visibility is as low as 50m. This will complement the existing CAT IIIB equipment on runway 10-28 making Delhi Airport, one of the few airports in Asia and the only one in India to have twin runways with this advanced Instrument Landing System.

The runway lighting systems are one of the most advanced in the world. The system is being fitted with single lamp control and monitoring system introduced which enables monitoring of individual lamps at the stop bars.

The construction of the runway is a feat in modern engineering, involving an astounding 2.3 million m³ of earthwork and embankment filling. That is enough to form a 210 km long freight train!! The runway is more than 2 metres thick, comprising 7 layers of Filling, Concrete Treated Base and Asphalt concrete. Over 650,000 tonnes of asphalt concrete has been used during the construction of the runway and taxiways; material which can help build a 75 km long six lane expressway!!

Extensive usage of computer simulations was done while designing the rapid exit taxiways & link taxiways. Also, eco-friendly methods were used during the construction involving extensive use of fly-ash in concrete and other cement based material.

(c) Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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