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Super Sunday: Domestic passengers cross pre-Covid level for 1st time; congestion peaks too

NEW DELHI: Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday morning inspected Delhi Airport’s choked terminal 3 (T3) that is seeing serpentine queues at almost every passenger interface point – terminal entry, check-in, security check, immigration (especially for arriving foreigners) and customs (for international arrivals). Sunday (December 11) saw 4,27,517 domestic passengers – the highest since Covid outbreak in March 2020 and also higher than the pre-pandemic daily average of 4.2 lakh. IGIA T3 along with Mumbai T2 and Bengaluru are witnessing huge rush while the peak Christmas holiday season travel rush is about to start in about a week.
“Post his inspection, Scindia has issued key directives to different stakeholders with timelines for implementation. We should see changes take effect from Tuesday till over the next 6-7 days,” said a senior ministry official.
The ministry has been reviewing the choked condition of some of the worst affected airports but relief for passengers has so far seemed elusive as traveller numbers have picked up significantly this month.
In a bid to reduce the massive peak hour congestion at IGIA, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) is looking at reducing 14 flights from its choked Terminal 3 (T3): 11 from T2 and eight from T1 (33 in all) in those choked times.
A senior aviation ministry official had recently said DIAL is “working with airlines to progressively reduce the peak hour departures to 14.” The airport had on Friday said it had “proactively reduced number of flights during peak hours at T3 from 22 flights/hour (pre-Covid) to 19 in November 2022.” The choked terminal 3 handles 503 and 253 domestic and international flights daily, respectively.

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