The report, based on data from Airports Council International (ACI), the global body that monitors airport traffic, puts Delhi’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2014 and 2017 at 14.3%. This the highest among airports handling at least 40 million passengers per annum, comfortably ahead of Incheon, South Korea (10.5%), Pudong Shanghai, China (10.4%), and Dubai, UAE (7.4%).
In 2017, the Delhi airport registered a 12.3% growth in passenger traffic as against 21% in 2016.
This suggests IGIA is slowly hitting a plateau. But DIAL has said in the report that this was expected and predicted that traffic will reach 95 million in 2023 because the airport’s expansion plan is on schedule.
“Delhi airport has become the fastest-growing hub airport on passenger traffic. Since 2014, it has been is among the top three in the world in passenger traffic growth each year. Delhi airport registered the highest growth of 21% in 2016 as against global annual average passenger growth of 6.5%. This is because of huge domestic passenger growth, which is almost 20% in the last five years. There is more than 10% growth in air traffic movement,” said a senior DIAL official who asked not to be named.
“After rising for three years, the growth rate was expected to come down because most airports that handle over 70 million passengers grow less than 10% per annum,” the official added.
In the report, DIAL has said 12 new scheduled airlines and more than 10 international sectors have been introduced over the last four years.
The report adds that DIAL’s focus is now on terminal (areas before the boarding gates) and airside (areas after the boarding gates) infrastructure, airport capacity enhancement, the increase in flights per day, and the addition of new domestic and international sectors.
DIAL did not repond to an emailed query on its expansion plan.
According to reports in August 2017 that keeping traffic growth in mind, DIAL has changed the master plan to hike capacity. Airports Authority of India says a new air traffic control tower, which is ready but not yet operational, and a fourth runway, will help reduce congestion in the air and allow the airport to handle more flights.
Delhi airport will become the first airport in the country to have four runways. Construction is expected to begin this year, and airport officials are expecting to commission the runway by 2019. This will increase the capacity of the airport from 75 to 105 flights an hour.
“If we look at historical data, it (traffic) will go up further.
Good part about India is that it is not season-bound traffic; we travel round the year. Now, DIAL has to look at the infrastructure as the increase in traffic requires additional infrastructure. DIAL should also give priority to private jets whose numbers are growing at a faster pace,” said Mark Martin, founder and CEO of Dubai-based Martin Consulting.