It may only be for a month, but it is a significant feat, nonetheless. Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi has been ranked the most punctual airport among the world’s top twenty busiest airports in the world for the month of August. As per the report published by OAG, a Bedfordshire-based aviation consulting firm, IGI airport has clocked an on-time performance (OTP) of 82.9 per cent in the month of August, effectivity overtaking the likes of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, Dubai International Airport, and London Heathrow. In comparison, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport scored 80.70 per cent while Long Angeles Airport stood at 78.30 per cent.
Delhi had made it in the coveted list of top twenty busiest airports in 2017 when it crossed the 60 million passenger mark. It is likely to host over 70 million passengers in 2018.
Delhi aside, other major international airports in India did not fare so well. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport ranked 50th in the list of busiest airports with a departure rate of 77 per cent and Bengaluru Airport ranked 86th with 86.2 per cent departure rate.
What makes this achievement even more remarkable for IGIA is that it is running at, almost, full-capacity making day-to-day operations more challenging to execute. The management must be commended for world-class infrastructures such as aerobridges and swift baggage and ground handling processes to clock such a high turn-around rate. The challenge, however, is to ensure more airports in the vicinity to disperse traffic to other destinations, taking the load off a fast-choking airport in the capital. Urgent steps are needed to build the requisite airport infra to cater to the fast-growing demand for air travel in the country.