Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi Airport) (IATA: DEL, ICAO: VIDP) is the primary international airport of the National Capital Region of Delhi, India, situated in Palam, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) south-west of New Delhi city centre. Named after Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, it is the busiest airport in India. With the commencement of operations at the new Terminal 3, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has become India's and South Asia's largest and one of the most important aviation hub, with a current capacity of handling more than 46 million passengers and aimed at handling more than 100 million passengers by 2030. Along with Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Chennai International Airport it handles more than half of the air traffic in South Asia.
The airport's operator, Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL), is looking to make the airport the next international transit hub. Spread over an area of 5,220 acres (2,112 ha) of land, Delhi airport serves as the primary civilian aviation hub for the National Capital Region of India. It was previously operated by the Indian Air Force until its management was transferred to the Airport Authority of India. In May 2006, the management of the airport was passed over to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a joint venture led by the GMR Group, which also has the responsibility for the airport's ongoing expansion and modernisation.
In 2011-12, the airport handled 35.88 million passengers and the planned expansion program will increase its capacity to handle 100 million passengers by 2030. The new Terminal 3 building has had the capacity to handle an additional 34 million passengers annually since the start of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Terminal 3 is the World's 8th largest passenger terminal. In September 2008, the airport inaugurated a 4.43 kilometre-long runway. In 2010, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) was conferred the fourth best airport award in the world in the 15-25 million category, and Best Improved Airport in the Asia-Pacific Region by Airport Council International. In 2011, the IGIA was ranked the second-best airport in the world in the 25-40 million passengers category, again by Airport Council International. Also in 2012, the airport was the 27th busiest in the world with 39,887,866 passengers handled, registering a 12.7% growth in traffic over the previous year.
IGI Airport is the home of several Indian airlines including Air India, Air India Regional, IndiGo, JetLite, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, GoAir use IGI Airport as their secondary hub. Approximately 80 airlines serve this airport. At present there are two active scheduled passenger terminals, a dedicated Hajj terminal and a Cargo Terminal.
Upon the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, specified flights move to this separate terminal to prevent disruption of other passengers who are traveling to other areas of the globe. A separate area has been made for Hajj to cater to the abundance of additional travelers during this season, and to accommodate them with enough provided space. It has a 10 million passengers per year capacity. It is used approximately two months starting from second month after the Eid-ul-Fitr every year, for 2011 it was started from 28 September 2011 onwards. Plans are underway to use the building for the remaining 10 months of the year as well.
The airport is served by the Delhi Airport Metro Express train line. The 22.7 km line runs from Terminal 3 to New Delhi Railway Station of Indian Railways in 20 minutes. Indian Railways The closest Indian Railways station is Shahabad Mohammadpur (SMDP). Also within distance is Palam Railway Station (PM).
The airport is connected by the 8-lane Delhi Gurgaon Expressway. Low floor AC buses operated by DTC regularly run between the airport and the city. Prepaid taxis are also available from the terminal to all areas of Delhi.
Elevation: 777 ft / 237 m