August 23, 2008

IGI Comes to CITY

By Megha Suri

The airport is soon coming to the heart of the city with two Metro stations on the Airport Express Line being developed as City Airport Terminals (CATs). Now, fliers will not have to wait to get to IGI for airline and baggage check-ins . The stations - New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium - are both spread across sprawling 7,000 sq metre and will be equipped with all the facilities offered at airport terminals.

So, you can buy your air ticket, check in your baggage and collect the boarding pass and shop at the CAT before you board a fast train to reach the actual airport terminal. Since the final security checks will be carried out at the airport just before the commuter boards the flight, the Metro stations will only conduct frisking of passengers and handbaggage . The terminal will also be equipped with machines like specialised X-ray scanners to check baggage, which will be delivered at the destination city.

The idea, according to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is to offer all the facilities available at the actual terminal - comfortable waiting areas with plush seats, television screens and music playing in the background, space for retail activity on the lines of airport duty free shops, cafes and restaurants serving varied cuisines.

Both the terminal buildings will be equipped with over 50 check- in counters each, which will be used by different airlines on a rotation basis. The counters will have connectivity to the airport for details of seat allocation and will allow baggage check-in at the Metro station itself . The city terminals will have ticket counters where passengers who have not booked themselves onto a flight, can buy tickets and head straight for the checkin . Flight information boards on the lines of what we see at the airport will be put up at the Metro station, as well as inside all trains, to inform passengers about the status of their flights. Any delays or cancellations will also be reflected all over the network.

Passengers who reach the Metro station early will also have the option of checking in their baggage with the airlines and heading out to shop in Connaught Place or going for a city tour.

The CATs - designs for which have been finalised - will look different from all the existing Metro stations. The lifts and escalators are different from those used on the rest of the Metro network. The escalators will have broader steps and the incline will be less steep to enable passengers carrying baggage to use them. " As people will be carrying heavy baggage, the building from the entry point to the train has been designed with elevators and escalators to ensure that people don't have to walk for long with baggage," said Anuj Dayal, DMRC's Chief Public Relations Officer.

For a faster connect for those coming from any of the platforms on the New Delhi Railway Station, the corporation is also looking at installing a travellator on the foot overbridge connecting the platforms , which will be extended further to the Metro station for the airport line. A lift will be installed at the end point of the foot overbridge, which will land passengers straight into the concourse of the Airport Experss Line station. DMRC is understood to have agreed to share half the cost of the foot overbridge.

For business travellers, a state-of-theart multi-level parking lot is also being constructed at the Metro station at New Delhi Railway Station. The seven-storeyed lot will have space to park over 1000 cars. DMRC is planning to make the parking lot fully mechanised, where machines will lift cars and park them in slots. This will be the first of its kind for Delhi.

The second stop, at Shivaji Stadium, is just two kms away. The Metro station at this point will also house the corporate headquarters for Air India. " The land where the underground station is coming up belongs to Air India so while the Metro station will be constructed underground , along with a small parking under the road, the rest of the structure will have their headquarters," Dayal added. The initial plan to develop another multi-storey parking lot at this station was given up as NDMC is developing one in the adjoining plot.

The next station on the line, at Dhaula Kuan, will allow check- in , but passengers boarding the train from this Metro station will have to carry their baggage along.

Modelled on the lines of London's popular Heathrow Express, DMRC's Airport Express Line will start at New Delhi Railway Station and go to Dwarka via IGI Airport. In the middle, it will stop at only three more stations - Shivaji Terminus, Dhaula Kuan and National Highway-8 . The new service, operational by July 2010, is coming as a breather for fliers from traffic jams as one will be seated in a fivestar train compartment speeding across the tunnels at a speed of 135 kmph. The fare has been kept at a maximum of Rs 150 till IGI and an additional Rs 30 to Dwarka, with a provision for monthly passes for airline staff and frequent fliers.

The station at IGI will come up very close to the new terminals - 3 & 4 - and a tunnel link will take people straight to the terminal's lobby. The line will come up on a PPP model where the concessionaire is a joint venture between Reliance Energy and Spanish firm CAS. This is the first time a private player will maintain and operate a Delhi Metro system.

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Check-in counters |

Over 50 check-in counters have been provided at each of the CATs. These will be allotted to different airlines to enable passengers to get their baggage checked-in at the Metro station itself

Waiting lounge |

Waiting areas with comfortable seating, television screens and soft music will be provided for those who reach the Metro station early

Retail space |

Similar to duty free shops, CATs will have retail space let out to different

kinds of outlets.

Space has also

been earmarked

for cafes and


Ticket counters |

Those who haven't booked tickets for a flight in advance can buy airline tickets at counters provided at CATs. These will be on the lines of what is seen at the airport departure terminals

Flight information |

Huge boards displaying information

about flight

schedules will be

available at the

stations and also

inside trains to inform passengers of any delay or cancellation

Baggage storage |

Passengers will have the option of checking-in their bags and boarding the Metro express train later. In the meantime, they can shop in Connaught Place or take a tour of the city and return for security check


apparatus |

The terminal will

be equipped with

X-ray scanners to screen all baggage being checked in. General frisking of passengers and hand baggage will also be done before they are allowed on trains

Elevators and escalators |

Bigger escalators and elevators, and travellators will minimise walking for commuters



Length |

22.7 km (7 km elevated, 15.7 km underground)

Stations |


Locations |

New Delhi Railway Station, Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula Kuan, NH-8 , IGI Airport and Dwarka Sector 21

City airport terminal stations |

New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium

Train Speed |

135 kmph

Estimated journey time |

18 mins (from NDRS to IGI)

Frequency |

10 mins (in 2010), 6 mins (by 2021)

Completion |

July 2010

Expected ridership |

42,500 (by 2010), 86,000 (by 2021)

Cost |

Rs 3,800 crore (approx)

Tunnel boring machines to be used |


Lowest point on tunnel |

40 m

Business model |

Public-private partnership (PPP) with DMRC developing the civil structures and later playing the watchdog for 30 years


Maximum Fare |

Rs 150 (upto IGI), Rs 30 (IGI to Dwarka)

Monthly frequent flier pass |

Rs 2,000 (upto IGI) Rs 600 (IGI to Dwarka)

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