Delhi’s The Busiest Airport Of India


EXEC tracks the footfall in airports across the metros.

The next time you are at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, consider this – you are one in 25.6 million passengers. According to a report by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, was the largest airport by combined passenger figures in Feb 2011 with 2.56 million passengers. (+15.7 percent year-on-year) followed by Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport with 2.42 million passengers (+14.9 percent), and coming in third is Chennai International Airport as the busiest airport with 966, 778 passengers (+13.7 percent).

IGI airport aims at increasing their capacity up to 100 million passengers by 2030. According to reports along with Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, it handles more than half of the air traffic in South Asia.

Reason For The Rise

One of the reasons for the increase in the footfalls at the airports is because of the boom in the domestic air travel sector. According to the report, “India’s domestic air travel market continued to show impressive growth in 1Q2011, with passenger numbers increasing 20.9 percent to 14.33 million.” In addition to this, “traffic has also increased with domestic traffic almost doubling from March 2006, and a growth of 94 percent over the past five years.”

Traffic also increased in Mar-2010 and 1Q2010 with domestic traffic almost doubling from Mar-2006 levels and growth of 94% over the past five years. Domestic traffic is now some 53% above Mar-2009 levels, 30% above Mar-2008 levels and 43% above Mar-2007 levels.

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Possible Reality: India might handle 300-320 million annual pax within 10 years

“Airport Authority of India Chairman, VP Agarwal, at the ACI Asia Pacific Conference in Delhi stated India has to face the challenges of ‘phenomenal’ traffic growth head on, and construct new airports and upgrade others to avoid a future shortfall in capacity. Driven by continued double-digit domestic traffic growth, traffic numbers at Indian airports could reach up to 450 million passengers p/a by 2020 creating the need for investment of up to USD 30 billion in airport infrastructure over the next 15 years,” the report added. While Yashwant Bhave, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India, Chairman said that the Indian Aviation “may have to handle an extra 300 to 320 million passengers p/a within the next ten years. He also added that at present only less than 2 percent of Indians fly domestically, and only 0.5 percent fly internationally, meaning the “growth potential is enormous.”

There is potential for considerable growth in India’s aviation industry over the next few decades, which has reported considerable growth in the past two years following a slump after the 2008 global financial crisis concluded the report.

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