New Delhi: India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi has jumped up four notches to become the world’s 12th busiest airport, according to the latest report. Taking over mammoth Frankfurt, Dallas Forth Worth, Guangzhou and Istanbul Ataturk airports, the Delhi IGIA has moved up from the 16th spot, according to the preliminary world airport traffic rankings for 2018 released by Airports Council International.
The ACI report said the IGI airport saw 6.9 crore domestic and international flyers in 2018, which is 10.2% points higher than the combined passengers of 2017. Moreover, only Seoul’s Incheon International with 10% point growth was close to Delhi, in terms of passenger growth. The Incheon International airport has secured the 16th place in 2018. Therefore, according to the rankings released by the ACI, The GMR-group-run New Delhi airport solidified its status as one of the fastest growing airports in the world for passenger traffic.
“India became the world’s third-largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput, behind the US and China, in 2018. India’s move towards a more liberalised aviation market and the nation’s strengthening economic fundamentals have helped it become one of the fastest-growing markets with its traffic growing rapidly in a relatively short time,” according to a statement by ACI.
Back in 2017, the Government of India had informed the Parliament about its proposal to have a 5.5km-long automated people mover or air train between its terminals by 2020, considering the huge volume of traffic and the need for passengers to transit between T1 and T2-3. However, the work for its expansion is yet to be embarked on.
Managing over 46 lakh passengers more than IGIA, the four airports above Delhi are Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Shanghai Pudong and Hong Kong. Observers believe that the Delhi airport may have made it to the top 10 itself had the infrastructure expansion not been hugely delayed.
Founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, ACI is the trade association of the world's airports, currently serving 641 members operating from 1,953 airports across 176 countries.
ACI's World Airport Traffic Forecasts also predicts that the country will represent the third largest aviation market, in terms of passenger throughput, after the US and China by 2020.