Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India, is expecting to open its fourth runway for operations in September.

According to officials, the majority of the construction work has been completed and the operator, after concluding the work, will hand over the runway to air traffic control by July.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will subsequently carry out the certification of the strip, after which the runway will be made operational by September at the latest.

The fourth runway is expected to increase the per-hour flight handling capacity of the airport, as well as reduce the waiting time for arriving and departing flights.

Equipped with advanced landing systems, the runway will allow flight operations in visibility as low as 50m.

The length of the fourth runway is 4,400m whereas the existing third runway 29/11 is 4,430m-long.

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A senior officer in the Ministry of Civil Aviation was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying: “The construction work of the fourth runway had started in 2019 and is in full swing. It is likely to be completed by July. As per the plan, the airport operator DIAL (Delhi International Airport Ltd) will hand over the airstrip to its airside team and to the Delhi air traffic control in July, after which the runway will be audited by the DGCA. After due certifications and approvals, if all goes well, it is likely to be made operational by September.”

Another officer from the airport was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying: “Delhi will have both the longest and the second-longest runway in the country. The total width of the runway will be 75m, making it capable of handling new generation large aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-400.”

An expansion project is currently being undertaken at the Delhi airport, with the aim of reaching a passenger handling capacity of up to 140 million per year.

The airport presently has the capacity to handle around 100 million passengers.

In addition, the renovated airport will feature a first-of-its-kind ‘dual elevated cross taxiway’ to reduce aircraft taxiing time.

Currently shut for operations, Terminal 1 is also being extended, increasing its passenger handling capacity from 20 million passengers a year to 40 million.

A new integrated Terminal 1 will be formed after merging the arrival and departure terminals of the airport.

Moreover, the international transfer area of Terminal 3 will be expanded, and a seventh check-in island will be included in T3 with linked baggage handling stems and further arrival carousels.