Indira Gandhi International Airport
The Indira Gandhi International Airport, in the capital city of New Delhi, is the main airport for the area. It is 16 kilometres southwest of New Delhi city centre. It was named after the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and is the busiest airport in India. It is also an important aviation hub of South Asia. Previously managed by the Indian Air Force, it is now managed by Delhi International Airport Limited.
History of the Indira Gandhi Airport
The main airport for Delhi until 1962 was Safdarjung Airport, which was built in 1930. During World War II, Palam Airport was built as a RAF Station. After the British quit India, it was used by the Indian Air Force. In 1986, a new, huge terminal was added and at that time the airport was inaugurated the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The old airport is now Terminal 1 and handles all domestic flights for low-cost airlines. It has three separate areas including an area for VVIP passengers and a separate terminal for passengers for the Hajj pilgrimage during the two months of the year when there are extra passengers. There is also a separate cargo terminal, which is one kilometre from Terminal 3. It has received awards for its excellent handling and organisation of cargo traffic.
Terminal 3 opened in 2010 in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and is the world’s 24th largest building as well as the eighth largest airport terminal. The terminal is a two tier building with 240 check-in counters, 96 immigration counters and 15 x-ray areas for baggage. The ground floor is the arrivals area with 18 baggage carousels.
The airport offers valet parking at Terminal 3 for all passengers. Drivers simply drive to the terminal and give their keys to a uniformed valet who will park the car.
Inside the Indira Gandhi International Airport there are many luxurious lounges. Several lounges are beyond the security check that offer spa services, business centres, napping rooms and more. Sleeping pods are also available at the departure area of Terminal 3. They are comfortable areas for sleeping or working. The fee is by the hour. A special Shower and Massage lounge is in the domestic arrivals area after the baggage claim. Wifi is available there. The terminal also has a transit hotel with free Wifi, minibar, access to a fitness room and other five star amenities.
There is a Left Luggage room for people who don’t want to carry their luggage while they wait hours for a flight. The facility has professional security staff and luggage can be left there for a few hours, days or weeks. A photo ID is required.
The lost property department is in Terminal 1. Identification and other documents will be needed to retrieve lost property. After 90 days, it is handed over to customs.
Wifi is free for the first 20 minutes in Terminal 3 after signing in with Aircel online.
The airport provides special rooms for small children and babies. They can be used for changing diapers, feeding or other needs. There is also a play area for children of different ages after the security check-in. Complimentary strollers are available only at Terminal 1D.
Reduced mobility passengers should contact the Customer Service Staff at the Contact Zone outside each terminal for assistance in contacting the specific airline. Airlines should be informed about special needs at least 48 hours before the departure time. There are special parking slots for the physically challenged in the Multi-Level Car Park at no extra charge.
There is a huge variety of restaurants, cafes and speciality shops as well brand boutiques throughout the airport.