Delhi airport gets in F1 mode

October 29th, 2011 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Around two dozen charter flights have been pressed into service at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport here to ferry celebrities ahead of the Formula 1 race event in Greater Noida, an official said Saturday.

“We have nearly 24 charter flight operations lined-up here, which include both foreign and domestic flights, which are ferrying celebrities for the event (F1 race),” a senior airport official told IANS.

According to the official of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the company which runs the IGI airport, not just private charters but heavy-lift freighters which carried the cars and equipments too were handled here.

“We have had five freighter operations here. We handled nearly 501 tonnes of equipments and cars from Oct 18 to 20,” the official said.

A team of experts from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) the governing body for world motor sport, visited the cargo area of the airport to inspect the facility and were satisfied with the arrangements, the official added.

Each freighter of logistics major DHL, which is also the official partner of the F1 race, carried around 40 pallets, which were then carried on the newly operated electronic transfer vehicles (ETVs) at the airport.

Meanwhile, the airport itself has been gripped by F1 fever, with DIAL organising various events themed around the race.

The Sahara Force India team too came up with several activities at the airport which included F-1 simulation machines, racing graffiti, games and a showcase pit stop.

“We are very excited as it is a very big event and happening for the first time in India and we are acting as a gateway to the city for the world famous-drivers, celebrities and of course their fast cars,” I. Prabhakara Rao, chief executive of DIAL told IANS.

The teams and their equipment would start leaving Nov 1-2, with major charter and freighter operations slated for that time period.

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