So while my last post talked about the launch of the Coffee Table Book about the exemplary journey of Delhi Airport, I am compelled to write this post in continuation to share some of the most striking features of the Airport. As a reader traveller and as an Indian, it was heartening to learn about them all. Rather, we should all appreciate it for all the comfort and facility that it brings to us. We are so busy in going through the security checks and other mandates or in making a quick exit to head back home that we hardly spare some time to looking around and take pride in its being. When we compare it with other international airports, we also know that we are one of the best but we simply take it for granted.
When I read through the book, I was amazed to know about the how this world class infrastructure exceeds in many ways. It was heartening to read that the people who have been involved in the project, who have worked towards its transformation are aware of the fact that an airport is a gateway of memories, the beginning of a journey and the experience at the airport delights and makes your mood for the rest of the trip. So they knew they had to get everything right. Initially the makers called it a mad dream, but their happiness knew no bounds when it was achieved almost perfectly. And no doubt making of T3 is counted as a triumph of human passion and commitment.
This book has actually make me sit up and realize that a million things go into the making of such dream projects, something as big as an airport. We definitely know its not a cakewalk but we don’t look into the nitty-gritties so minutely. After reading the book, I see the Delhi airport in a new and positive light. I feel much more connected to it. Interestingly, what we crib about is the carpet. This means that everything else is absolutely fine.
All that and more about Delhi Airport
- Terminal 3 is the busiest and the largest operational terminal in India.
- It was built in record 37 months, setting a world record.
- It is the 8th largest airport in the world, enough to accommodate 22 soccer fields.
- It is capable of processing 34 million passengers a year.
- There are 95 immigration counters, 78 passenger boarding bridges and 96 automated travelators.
- It has a 100 room transit hotel too.
- The multi level parking is one of the biggest in the country and can accommodate 4300 cars at one time.
- It has three operating runways. The runway 11-29 is the longest runway in South Asia.
- The Supreme Court had disallowed mining around Delhi. So most of the material was brought from the Kotputli and Tonk in the state of Rajasthan.
- Nearly 30,000 people (skilled and non-skilled) were part of this gigantic human resource management team.
- DIAL had to relocate 36 government and non-government agencies from the site before starting construction of Terminal 3.
- The biggest challenge and milestone in the making was assembling a 45 acre roof and getting it up.
- The maze of belts that runs safely transports and handles 12,800 bags per hour.
- On 3rd July 2010, T3 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
- One of the greatest challenge was to make people change their mindsets. Trials were designed to see what was not working well.
- The first plane landed at T3 on 14 July 2010. And this was the day when no airport had looked so plush and modern.
- Among leading modern Indian painters, Paresh Maity created the biggest mural of all, overlooking the baggage reclaim area of T3, called the Odyssey of Life.
- There are 54-panel paintings from the late M.F. Hussain depicting the mythology and history of aviation. Hussain called it Flights of Freedom.
- The airport has been rated the best in the category of handling upto 40 million passengers annually and now second best in the world amongst over 300 airports handling more than 40 million passengers annually.
- It is the first airport in India to get a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Rating which also makes it one of the greenest buildings in the world.
- It has also been declared as a Carbon Neutral Airport, level 3+ under Airport Carbon Accreditation of ACI and also accorded the platinum Level for IGBC Green Existing Building.