Delhi airport’s third runway to become operational Thursday

September 24th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) The third runway at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here will be formally opened for operations Thursday, the civil aviation ministry announced Wednesday.The decision has been taken in meeting of all stakeholders of the airport Wednesday.

According to the ministry, an Air India aircraft would land on the third runway Thursday morning. The runway was inaugurated Aug 21, but was not fully operational.

The 4,430-metre long and 75-metre wide runway, christened as ‘11-29′, is the longest in India and the second longest in Asia. The longest runway in Asia is at the Qamdo Bangda Airport in Tibet, which is 5,500 metres long.

Meant to handle new generation aircraft like the Airbus A380, it will also ensure that there is least air congestion at the IGI airport.

All stakeholders like the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), Airports Authority of India and airlines met Wednesday to discuss the formal opening of the runway.

The new runway is almost four kilometres away from the old runways. DIAL would ensure that the CAT-III B facilities at the runway are commissioned by November 2008 before the fog sets in.

The new runway, according to DIAL officials, would double the airport’s peak-hour capacity from 35-40 aircraft landing and taking off an hour to 75. The existing two runways handle nearly 700 flights a day.

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