Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Passengers flying overseas from Delhi airport before 10 p.m. will have to go just that extra distance before their flight takes off. With a portion of the taxiway `P' being closed during non-peak hours for two months -- to facilitate construction of two other rapid exit taxiways -- international flights will now spend more time taxiing.

The taxiway will remain closed between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. from now on. "This will not affect the handling capacity of the Air Traffic Controllers. All that will happen is that international flights during the lean period will spend two or three minutes extra on the ground before taking off," said an ATC source.

While international flights during the non-peak hours will have to reach the main runway through the domestic apron, construction of the new taxiways `U' and `V' will help in easing congestion on the ground.

"This will facilitate faster runway clearance from the Runway 10 side towards the international terminal. The runway occupancy time, which is the highest in Delhi, will be reduced. The holding time for aircraft awaiting clearance to land at Delhi airport would also become shorter," said an official.