New Delhi Airport was leased to a private operator in 2006 and has gone through a major upgrade. The construction of Terminal 3, which opened in 2010, has vastly changed the airport's functionality by bringing international and domestic flights (except for low cost carriers) together under the one roof. The terminal has doubled the airport's capacity. It now handles more than 55 million passengers a year.
The new-look airport has won numerous awards following its upgrade. This includes Best Improved Airport in the Asia Pacific Region by the Airports Council International in 2010, Best Airport in the World in the 25–40 million passengers category by the Airports Council International in 2015, and Best Airport in Central Asia and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia by Skytrax at the World Airport Awards in 2015.
A new hospitality district called Aerocity is also coming up adjacent to the airport and provides convenient access to the terminals. It has many new hotels, including international luxury chains, and a Delhi Metro Airport Express train station.
Airport Name and Code
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). It was named after a former Prime Minister of India.
Airport Contact Information
- Customer care number: + 91 124 3376000.
- Website: www.newdelhiairport.in
Palam, 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of the city.
Travel Time to City Center
45 minutes to one hour during normal traffic. The road to the airport becomes very congested during peak hours.
The following terminals are in use at the airport:
- Terminal 1C -- Stand-alone low cost carrier domestic arrivals. (GoAir, Indigo, and Spice-Jet).
- Terminal 1D -- Stand-alone low cost carrier domestic departures. (GoAir, Indigo, and Spice-Jet).
- Terminal T3 -- International and domestic flights, with the exception of low cost carriers listed above. This new terminal is located near the old international Terminal 2 (which has closed).
- The world-class Terminal 3 has 168 check-in counters, 95 immigration counters, 78 aerobridges, 92 automatic walkways, business centers, restaurants, and shopping mall.
- A luggage storage facility ("left luggage" facility) is available to both domestic and international passengers. It's located in the Airport Connect at the Skywalk Level of Terminal 3 (by the overpass between the Metro station and Terminal 3). The maximum period for storage is 30 days.
- Free wireless Internet is available in all terminals. However, users must get a password sent to their cell phone.
- Passengers with special needs such as wheelchairs are catered for by reserved parking slots, ramps, and bathrooms. Wheelchairs and attendants are available inside the terminals.
- Money exchange counters and ATMs are inside the terminals.
- A list of found items is updated regularly on the airport's website.
New Delhi Airport has a variety of airport lounges.
- There's one Premium Lounge for first class and business class passengers of selected airlines. It's located on Level 3 of the international departures area in Terminal 3.
- There's are seven Plaza Premium lounges spread across Terminal 3 and Terminal 1D. For departing international passengers, the main lounge is located on Level 4 of in Terminal 3. Facilities include buffet meals, bar, workstations and wireless Internet, newspapers, magazines, showers, spa and massage. Access passes for the International Plaza Premium Airport Lounge (Departures) and International Plaza Premium Airport Lounge (Arrivals) can be bought online from Viator.
- The ITC WelcomGroup has an environmentally responsible Green Lounge in Terminal 3. Most people agree it's better than the Plaza Premium lounges. It's possible to access the lounge by paying for a buffet meal (900 rupees without alcohol and 1,499 rupees including alcohol).
- There's also an exclusive American Express Platinum Lounge in the departures area of Terminal 3, near the food court.
Terminal 3 has a six-level car park that can hold up to 4,300 vehicles. Expect to pay 80 rupees per car for up to 30 minutes, 180 rupees for 30 minutes to 2 hours, 90 rupees for each subsequent hour, and 1,180 rupees for 24 hours. The rate is the same for car parking at the domestic terminal.
A "Park and Fly" facility is also available at Terminal 3 and Terminal 1D. By booking online, passengers who need to leave their car at the airport for an extended period can obtain special discounted parking rates.
Passengers can be dropped off and picked up at the terminals free of cost, as long as vehicles remain attended.
- During winter, from December until February, the airport is often badly affected by fog. The problem is usually the worst in the early mornings and evenings, although at times blankets of fog will remain for days. Anyone traveling during this time should be prepared for flight delays and cancellations.
- Transfer from Terminals 1C and 1D (stand-alone domestic low cost carrier arrivals and departures) to Terminal T3 (other domestic and international arrivals and departures) is along National Highway 8, so do leave plenty of traveling time (around 60 minutes) when making plans. A free shuttle bus is available.
Where to Stay Near the Airport
A 100 room transit hotel opened in Terminal 3 in early 2011. There are also five sleep cabins, located inside the international departures area. The other alternative is hotels near the airport, mostly located in the new Aerocity area or along National Highway 8 in Mahipalpur. This Guide to New Delhi Airport Hotels will point you in the right direction of which are worth staying in, for all budgets.