Officials of Airport Authority of India (AAI) conducted the safety assessment of the new baggage ramp on Tuesday and it proved to be successful, they said. Hence the arrival hall at the new domestic terminal building will be commissioned on Friday.

“We conducted trial runs on the ramp with the Airline representatives on Tuesday; and the ramp was safe and able to bear the required load as well. Hence the commissioning of the arrival hall will be done on Friday,” said an AAI official.

On Wednesday, AAI officials who conducted the safety assessment will hold discussions with Airline Operating Committee and then formulate the Standard Operating Procedure, he added.

This follows a meeting with the airlines in which the airlines have agreed to shift their operations from the existing old terminal arrival hall to the new arrival hall before Friday.

E.P. Hareendranathan, Executive Director (Technical), Airports Authority of India (AAI), New Delhi had arrived to negotiate with the airlines for the commissioning the arrival hall.

He said, “As per the Director General of Civil Aviation norms, the terminal has to be a green one. So using farm tractors in the green terminal is prohibited. Moreover, all the exhaust ducts were located in the basement of the new terminal building, where baggage of arriving and departing passengers are loaded in to the trolleys. Using a farm tractor in this area would suffocate and the emission will reach the terminal building. Also, the tractor cannot pull the trolleys on the ramp.”

So, the airlines have been given time for a period of three months to have their own arrangement with regard to handling baggage and till that time the airlines have to utilise the services of Bhadra, the ground handling agency appointed by the AAI, Mr Hareendranathan added. The AAI had also negotiated with Bhadra with regard to the charges for using their facilities.

Waiving royalty to Bhadra

In an attempt to facilitate the airlines and to commission the arrival hall, the AAI had waived the royalty amount for Bhadra for a period of three months. Mr. Hareendranathan said as per the contract agreement, the Bhadra had to pay 32.5 per cent from their revenue to the AAI. Now, the AAI had waived this royalty and thereby help the airlines to utilise the services of Bhadra at a lesser cost, he said.

Once the operations from the old arrival hall are shifted and the operations stabilised, then within the next 10 days the departure hall will also be commissioned. Two weeks is required for stabilising at the new arrival hall, he added.

New Traffic plan

The AAI will operate free coach services for the benefit passengers to reach from the new domestic terminal to the existing international terminal. Similarly, golf carts will be in place once the departure hall at the new domestic terminal is commissioned to take the passengers to the international terminal and vice-versa. The flyover in the airport will become operational soon and clockwise traffic movement will be maintained, he added.

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