Airports in Delhi

The capital city of India, Delhi has a wide and developed mode of communication network in all three modes of transportation. When it comes to air transportation, Delhi is well equipped with two airports viz. the Indira Gandhi International Airport and the Safdarjung Airport. 

The city has a good international airports in Delhi and domestic airports in Delhi in IGIA with both international and domestic sections located separately. The two airports of Delhi and their services and facilities are mentioned below:

Indira Gandhi International Airport

Indira Gandhi International AirportThe Indira Gandhi international Airport (IGIA) is the prime international airport of Delhi witnessing a wide network of flights both from within the country and from outside India.  The airport is named after the former prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi. The Airport Council International ranked the airport as the second best in the category of 25-40 million passengers in 2013. It is also the busiest airport in India and has the capacity to handle more than 46 million passengers annually. The IGIA handles more than half the air traffic of South Asia with huge air traffic from across the world flying in to the national capital Delhi.

Domestic Flight Section

The terminal 1 is the oldest terminal and is the domestic airports of Delhi and the domestic terminal section of IGIA. The domestic sub terminals of terminal 1 include terminals 1A, 1B, domestic arrival terminal and terminal 1D. The terminal 1 witnesses departures and arrivals of domestic flights. The terminal 1C of IGIA however operates both domestic and international flights.

 The domestic flight section witnesses Indian Airlines domestic flights, Alliance Air flights, private airlines like Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Spice Jet, Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Indigo and Go Air. It also witnesses private aircraft which takes off from terminal 1B.

The terminal 1C witnesses domestic arrivals and is equipped with a larger luggage reclaim area. The terminal 1D is the newly built terminal for domestic departures. Built with a floor space having the capacity enough to handle 12 million passengers per year, the terminal started working from 15th April 2009 and has well equipped self check in counters. 72 Common Use Terminal Equipment enables check in counters. You can reach the airport in your own transport, cabs or by using the Airport Express Line.

International Flight Section- Terminal 3

The terminal 3 operates both domestic and international flights. All international flights from across the world along with the fully in service domestic flights are operated from terminal 3. The terminal 3 is located around 9 kms away from the terminal 1 and is connected by shuttle services in between the terminals. 

The terminal 3 is the biggest terminal of IGIA and is considered as one of the biggest terminals of the world with developed facilities. It has been regularly operating since July 2010 and is the 24th largest building in the world. It has an area of 5, 40,000 sq m and the capacity to handle 36 million passengers annually.

Terminal 3 IGIAThe terminal 3 has many facilities laid out for travelers including lounges, medical facilities, nap and massage lounges, prayer room, smoker’s lounge, children’s room, shower and massage lounges, branded shops, eateries, immigration counters, WI-fi and many other added facilities for the convenient of the passengers. 

The terminal 3 being a two tier building also has around 15 X-ray screening areas, duty free shopping places in addition to other facilities. The terminal is also connected to Delhi by a well connected eight lane motorway and also the Delhi Mass Rapid Transit System.

 The terminal 3 of IGIA has the first automated parking management and guidance system of India and has a multi level parking system with 7 levels of parking with a capacity to hold 6300 cars.

The following list includes the name of the airlines and the destinations they travel to from terminal 3 of IGIA:

  • Aeroflot: Moscow
  • Air Arabia: Sharjah
  • Air Astana: Almaty
  • Air China:  Beijing
  • Air France:Paris
  • Air India: Dhaka, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, Birmingham, Bangkok, Singapore & Sydney
  • Air Mauritius:  Mauritius
  • All Nippon Airways: Tokyo
  • Ariana Afghan Airways: Kabul
  • Asiana Airlines: Seoul
  • Austrian Airlines: Vienna
  • Biman Bangladesh Airlines:Dhaka
  • British Airways: London & Heathrow
  • Cathay Pacific: Bangkok, Hong Kong
  • China Airlines: Rome & Fiumicino, Taipei &Taoyuan
  • Druk Air: Paro
  • Emirates:Dubai
  • Ethiopian Airlines: Addis Ababa & Hangzhou
  • Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi
  • Finnair: Helsinki
  • Iraqi Airways: Baghdad, Basrah
  • Japan Airlines: Tokyo, Nanita
  • Kam Air: Kabul
  • Kenya Airways: Nairobi
  • KLM     Amsterdam
  • Kuwait Airways: Kuwait
  • Oman Air: Muscat
  • Lufthansa: Munich, Frankfurt
  • Mahan Air: Tehran-Imam Khomeini
  • Malaysia Airlines: Kuala Lampur
  • Mihin Lanka: Colombo
  • Pakistan International Airlines: Lahore and Karachi
  • Kyrgyzstan Air Company: Bishkek
  • Qatar Airways: Doha
  • Royal Jordanian: Amman-Queen Alia
  • Safi Airways: Kabul
  • Saudia: Damman, Riyadh
  • Sri Lankan Airlines:  Colombo
  • Swiss International Airlines:  Zurich
  • Thai Airways International: Bangkok
  • Thai Smile: Phuket
  • Tajk Air: Dushanbe
  • Tashi Air: Paro
  • Turkish Airlines: Istanbul
  • Turkmenistan Airlines     Ashgabat
  • United Airlines: Newark
  • Uzbekistan Airways: Tashkent
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways: London & Heathrow and many more
Indira Gandhi International Airport has the following terminals: 

Delhi Airport Terminal 1 is used for domestic flights of low-cost airlines. It used to be Terminal 1 of Palam Airport. Terminal 1 at IGI Airport was in fact part of Palam Airport.  Terminal 1 is formed by several buildings for both Arrivals and Departures i.e T1C (arrival) and T1D (departure). 

Terminal 2 handles domestic flights. Terminal 2 at IGI Airport can handle up to 12 million passengers per year. There is an inter terminal shuttle bus free of use that connect both terminals. Frequency every 20 minutes between terminals. Shuttle bus is operated by DIAL. 

Opened in 2010, It is one of the biggest terminals in the world, being able to handle 40 million passengers per year. Delhi Airport Terminal 3 consist of five levels and each level is split into the international and domestic areas.

Domestic Departures concourse: Section C (gates 27-36), Section D (37-41 and 42-62).
International Departures concourse: Section A (gates 1-3 and 4-14), Section B (gates 15-26). There is an inter terminal shuttle bus free of use that connect both terminals. Frequency every 20 minutes between T1 and T3. Shuttle bus is operated by DIAL. 

Hajj Terminal:

During the special Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, flights for Hajj are directed to this terminal to avoid disruption of other passengers traveling to other places. It was started from 28th September 2011 and is used for two months starting from the second month after Eid-Ul-Fitr. The Delhi Aero City station is the nearest one to IGI-Haj Terminal.

Cargo Terminal:

The cargo terminal in IGIA manages the cargo operations. The IGIA received award in the year 2007 for its organized and brilliant cargo handling system. The Cargo terminal is located at a distance of 1 km from the terminal 3.

Planned Terminals:

There is ongoing planning of terminal 5 and 6 for only international flights. The terminal 3 will then be used only for domestic flights. The fourth terminal which is the South terminal, was converted into a COVID-19 vaccine center in 2020.

How to reach:
  • By Road: One can take the 8 lane Delhi Gurgaon Expressway. There are low floor AC buses managed by DTC and taxis available from the city to the airport.
  • By Rail:The airport is connected to Delhi by the Delhi Airport Metro Express metro line. This express runs 22.7 kms from terminal 3 of IGIA to New Delhi railway station every 15 mins.
Important Contact Numbers of the IGIA:
New Delhi Airport Customer Care Number: 0124-3376000
Terminal 1A & 1B: 011-25661000
International Cargo Terminal: 01125601017

Safdarjung Airport

Safdarjung Airport is located in Safdarjung area of New Delhi and was established during the British rule as Wellington Airfield. It is spread across an area of began its operations as an airport from the year 1929 and India’s second airport. 

It was used during the Second World War and also during the Indo Pakistan War of 1947. It was Delhi’s main airport until the year 1962 when the Palam Airport (Indira Gandhi International Airport) came into operation.
Safdarjung Airport
The Delhi Flying Club was established in the Safdarjung Airport in the year 1928 with two de Haviland Moth aircrafts named Delhi and Roshanara. 

The Safdarjung Airport operated till the year 2001 until January 2002, when it was closed it for flying activities due to security reasons post 9/11 attacks. 

Currently, the Safdarjung Airport is used for VVIP helicopter rides to IGIA. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the headquarters of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are located in Safdarjung Airport.

The Airports Authority of India headquarters which manages majority of the airports in India is located in the Safdarjung Airport. The ministry of Civil Aviation is located in the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan on the grounds of the airport. There is also the Delhi liaison office of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi located in the administrative block of the airport.

How to reach: One can take buses or auto rickshaws to Safdarjung Airport from any part of Delhi.

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