Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA): The Best Airport in Central Asia


NAME: Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)

Named after Indira Gandhi, a former Prime Minister of India. She served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.

FORMER  NAME: Palam Airport (later renamed to Indira Gandhi International Airport in 1962)

Palam Airport had been built during World War II as Royal Air Force(RAF) Station, Palam and after the British left, it served as an Air Force Station for the Indian Air Force. Palam Airport had a peak capacity of around 1,300 passengers per hour. With the inauguration of a new international terminal (Terminal 2), on 2 May 1986, the airport was renamed as Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).

OWNER: Airports Authority of India

OPERATOR: Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL)

All about Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)

Area: 5,106 acres (2,066 ha)

Airlines: Approximately 80 airlines serve this airport for several Indian carriers including Air India, Air India Regional, IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara.

IGIA Capacity: India’s and South Asia’s largest aviation hub, with a current capacity of handling more than 40 million passengers in 2010. The planned expansion program will increase the airport’s capacity to handle 100 million passengers by 2030.

Runways: 3 near-parallel Asphalt Runways.

Runway 09/27 (9,229 ft long)
Runway 10/28 (12,500 ft long)
Runway 11/29 (14,534 ft long)

Runway 10/28 and runway 11/29 of Delhi Airport are the only airports in South Asia to have been equipped with the CAT III-B ILS. The airport uses an advanced system called Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) to help keep takeoffs and landings timely and predictable.

Terminals: 8 Terminals

Terminal 1 (C-D) is used by low-cost carriers such as GoAir, IndiGo and SpiceJet, and is divided in Terminal 1 – C, used for arrivals, and Terminal 1 – D, used for departures.
Other terminals like Terminal 1A, Terminal 1B, Terminal 2 are unused nowadays.

Terminal 2 now it is closed.

Terminal 3, All International flights are operated from Terminal 3 building, which opened in 2010 for the Commonwealth Games, has the capacity to handle 34 million passengers annually. Terminal 3 is the world’s 8th largest passenger terminal.

External Link: Read more about Terminal 3

Other two terminals are Hajj terminal & Cargo terminal.

Terminals 4, 5 and 6 will be built at a later stage, which will be triggered by growth in traffic, and once completed, all international flights will move to these three new terminals.


It is the busiest airport in the country in terms of passenger traffic since 2009.
It is the second busiest airport in the country in terms of cargo traffic after Mumbai.
12th busiest airports in Asia.
25th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.


In 2015, Best Airport in Central Asia/India and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia/India at the prestigious Skytrax World Airport Awards.
In 2015, Delhi Airport won the Best Airport award from the Airports Council International within 25-40 million annual passengers category.
In 2015, it won the prestigious Golden Peacock National Quality Award given by the Institute of Directors (India).

Nearest Places

15 km south-west of the New Delhi railway station.
16 km from New Delhi city centre.
18 km Palam railway station.
7 km away from airport Park Plaza New Delhi Hari Nagar.

The airport is connected by the 8-lane Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.

Incidents and accidents

  • 25 January 1970, a Royal Nepal Airlines Fokker F27-200 (9N-AAR) after a flight from Kathmandu, Nepal was caught in a severe thunderstorm with turbulence and downdrafts on final approach to Palam Airport. The pilot lost control of the aircraft and crashed short of the runway. Of the five crew and 18 passengers, one crew member was killed.
  • 14 June 1972, Japan Airlines Flight 471 crashed outside of Palam Airport, killing 82 of 87 occupants; ten of eleven crew members and 72 of 76 passengers died, as did three people on the ground.
  • 31 May 1973, Indian Airlines Flight 440 crashed while on approach to Palam Airport, killing 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board.
  • 7 May 1990, an Air India Boeing 747 flying on the London-Delhi-Mumbai route and carrying 215 people (195 passengers and 20 crew) touched down at Indira Gandhi International Airport after a flight from London Heathrow Airport. On application of reverse thrust, a failure of the no. 1 engine pylon to wing attachment caused this engine to tilt the nose down. Hot exhaust gases caused a fire on the left wing. There were no casualties but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and written off.
  • 12 November 1996, the airport was involved in the Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision when a Saudia Boeing 747-100B, climbing out after take-off, collided with an incoming Air Kazakhstan Ilyushin Il-76 chartered by a fashion company, causing the deaths of all 349 people on board the two planes.
  • 17 March 2016, a bomb threat was made to the airport, causing its evacuation and some flyes to be cancelled and delayed.

Official Website:
Content Credits: Wikipedia


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