New Milestone in Aviation History of India
21 August, 2008
Milestone in Aviation History of India
Inaugural Flight Lands at the New Runway at IGI Airport – Delhi
4430m long runway longest in the country and featuring CAT IIIB
ILS at both ends
IGI Airport becomes India's first airport with three runways
August 21 ,2008: A new chapter in India's aviation history unfolded
this morning, when the inaugural flight touched down on Indira
Gandhi International Airport's (IGIA) brand new runway 11-29. This
is IGIA's third runway and with it, it becomes the India's first and
among the very few civilian airports in Asia to have three operating
Hon'ble Minister for Civil Aviation Mr. Praful Patel along with
senior parliamentarians and officials from the Ministry of Civil
Aviation (MoCA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation & Airports
Authority of India, were present to witness the first landing. The
runway has been developed by Delhi International Airport (P) Limited
(DIAL), a GMR Group led Joint Venture Consortium mandated to operate
and modernize the IGI Airport under the Public Private Partnership
Initiative of Govt. of India.
The first touch down at the runway was made by a special flight by
an Air India Boeing 777. Upon arrival, the aircraft was given the
traditional water cannon salute by the Fire Tenders by IGI Airport's
Fire Service. This was new generation infrastructure utilized by new
generation long range aircraft with safety assured by new generation
lighting systems and Crash Fire Tenders.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. GM Rao – Group Chairman, GMR Group
said, "Today is a great day for Indian Aviation. Runways are roads
that lead to the sky, and it is GMR Group's commitment to build
infrastructure that paves the way for India's economy to reach new
heights. We are confident that this National Asset will truly occupy
a pride of place in every Indian's heart."
Mr. Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Business Chairman – Airports, GMR Group
said, "The completion of the runway ahead of schedule marks another
project, which GMR Group has delivered before the deadline and we
are on track to complete the Integrated Passenger Terminal (Terminal
3) on schedule as well. Together, the runway and Terminal 3 will
form India's new gateway to the world when it welcomes participants
and guests for the Commonwealth Games 2010."
Completed more than six months ahead of scheduled date of February
2009, the 75m wide runway is among the longest in Asia at 4430m.
Built to Code F standards, the runway is capable of handling new
generation large aircraft such as the Airbus A380. 11-29 will
significantly expand IGIA's capacity to handle aircraft movements.
In addition, the runway is also equipped with CAT IIIB Instrument
Landing System at both ends allowing compatible aircraft to land
even when the visibility is as low as 50m. This will complement the
existing CAT IIIB equipment on runway 10-28 making IGI Airport the
only one in India to have twin runways with this advanced Instrument
Landing System. In addition, an advanced Surface Movement Guidance
System, featuring induction loop sensors has been deployed to track
the movement of the aircraft along the runway.
The runway has been constructed using some of the most advanced
construction techniques, materials & equipment. More than 2000 trial
mix designs were conducted in the project laboratory to arrive at
the most suitable concrete and asphalt mixes for the runway layers
Some Key Facts & Figures
- The project involved an astounding 2.3 million m³ of
earthwork and embankment filling. That is enough to form a 210
km long freight train!! The runway is more than 2 m thick,
comprising seven layers of Filling, Concrete Treated Base,
Asphalt and a special layer of glass grid.
- Over 650,000 tonnes of asphalt has been used during the
construction of the runway, a load which can help build a 75 km
long six lane expressway!! More than 2.5 million tones of
aggregate was used during the construction of the runway. The
aggregate was sourced from various sources and three aggregate
crushing units were established around Delhi in Rajasthan and
Haryana exclusively for this project.
- Daily supply of aggregate to the project was an average of
500 trucks truck loads per day. Bitumen for the project came
from refineries in Panipat and Mathura and Polymer Modified
Bitumen was prepared at Kosi in Uttar Pradesh, all in northern
India. An astounding 165,000 tonnes of cement was consumed
during the construction of the runway. It took 15 suppliers to
provide the requisite quantity of cement for the runway.
- A host of innovative techniques were used for the
construction of the runway as well. For example the runway
surface (pavement) was designed to minimize the usage of rock
aggregate. A customized software was used to achieve this goal
as the supply of aggregate is limited in the Northern region.
Another unique feature is the usage of a specially designed
'stress absorbing membrane layer' which is used to prevent the
spread of any cracks on the runway surface under aircraft the
weight of an aircraft.
- Extensive usage of computer simulations was done while
designing the rapid exit taxiways & link taxiways. Also,
eco-friendly methods were used during the construction involving
extensive use of fly-ash in concrete and other cement based
material. DIAL also took special permission from the Supreme
Court to set-up a Hot Mix plant (otherwise banned in Delhi) at
the site. The plant was fitted with the most advanced pollution
- A fleet of modern equipment was pressed into service during
the construction of this runway, which included
- 8 Vibratory Soil Compactors with 18 tonne capacity exclusively
imported from Germany for this project. These were used for
embankments and stabilizing the base soil of the runway.
- 10 Electronic Sensor Pavers built by Vogele of Germany for
laying the surface of the runway. These machines can lay surface
of 200 mm thickness at the rate of 60 m per hour.
- Two 240 m³ per hour batching plants, among the biggest in
Asia, for producing ready-mix concrete have been set up at the
site. The total facility can produce more than 825 m³ of
ready-mix per hour
and is based on German technology.
DIAL: Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd (DIAL) is a joint
venture company; comprising the Bangalore headquartered, global
infrastructure major GMR Group, Airports Authority of India, Fraport,
Malaysian Airport and India Development Fund. DIAL is working
towards the modernization and restructuring of the Delhi Airport.
The project being developed by DIAL under Public Private Partnership
has been given the mandate to finance, design, build, operate and
maintain the Delhi Airport for 30 years with an option to extend it
by another 30 years.