Indira Gandhi International Airport's Terminal 3 (T3), which is being touted as one of the most modern airports in the world, would be inaugurated on July 3 while operations would commence from July 14.

The construction work for T3, the foundation stone for which was laid in February 2007, is reportedly complete.

Being developed by Delhi International Airport Limited, T3 is part of the first phase of the master plan for IGI Airport. The master plan for T3 was submitted in 2006. Spread across 5.5 million square feet, T3 would be capable of handling 34 million passengers per annum.

Civil structural works at all nine levels of the building and all airport systems works are reportedly complete and trials are under way. Dependency on artificial light is expected to be less as the terminal building and boarding piers are covered with a glass façade. Besides the structure of the building capitalises on the “North Light” concept that maximises illumination while reducing solar gain, which usually leads to heating up of the terminal. T3 is thus expected to require significantly lesser electrical energy for lighting and air-conditioning compared with a similarly sized conventional building. Distinct features of the T3 include an in-line baggage handling system which has four sorter machines, a capacity to cater to 12,800 bags per hour and nearly seven kilometers of conveyor belts. The system also has automatic bag tag readers which captures the information on each individual bag. This is stored in the ‘Sort Allocation Computer' thus ensuring that baggage data is available at any given time. There are 41 X-ray machines to ensure fool-proof baggage screening and passenger safety.

Within the building, escalators connecting international arrivals with the departure level, 63 elevators, 34 escalators, 92 automatic walkways including eight inclined walkways have been installed. The 78 passenger boarding bridges (aerobridges) including the ones which would serve the A380 upper deck are also ready.

Time table

T3 is reportedly one of the fastest built international airport terminals in the world with a construction time table of 37 months. The airport is also gearing up for joining the league of those airports which can host commercial operations of Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft.

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