Out of the total, around 18 million will be international passengers. (File)
The Delhi airport will cross the pre-pandemic passenger traffic level at more than 70 million this fiscal and expects to complete the expansion of Terminal 1 by the end of February next year that will increase the domestic air passenger handling capacity by 23 million, a top official said on Friday.
Besides, airport operator DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said Terminal 2 (T2) will be converted into an international terminal for a short term.
Currently, T2 is for domestic flights and has a passenger handling capacity of 15 million.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital is the country's largest airport and is operated by the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).
Currently, the airport has three terminals -- T1, T2 and T3 -- and depending on traffic trends, the operator will take a decision on having T4. At present, only T3 has international operations.
In an interview to PTI here, Mr Jaipuriar said there is a good revival of passenger traffic.
"This (financial) year, we are going to end up (with) higher than pre-Covid (passenger traffic level). We had a maximum of 69.3 million passengers during pre-Covid. Last (financial) year, we did 65.3 million and this financial year, we will cross 70 million," he said.
Out of the total, over 52 million will be domestic passengers and around 18 million will be international passengers.
DIAL will also revisit its master plan for the airport that was prepared in 2016 and the current capacity levels are based on that plan.
The expansion of T1 is likely to get completed by February end next year. Once it is complete, the terminal's passenger handling capacity will increase from 17 million to 40 million, Mr Jaipuriar said.
"Then, we will have an overall domestic capacity of 40 million in T1 and 25 million in T3. (Currently), the domestic capacity at T2 is 15 million," he said and added that the international passenger handling capacity at T3 is around 20 million.
From the projections, he said, "we are very comfortable with domestic capacity but we are going to be tight in two years from now (when it comes to) international capacity".
As part of the 2016 master plan, T4 is supposed to be developed with a capacity of around 40 million. So, the master plan is talking about T4 being fully domestic, T3 getting converted fully into international and T1 being completely domestic, he noted.
According to the DIAL chief, the plan is that instead of being a domestic terminal, T2 will be converted into an international terminal for a short term.
On T2 conversion, Videh Jaipuriar said DIAL still has to do the stakeholders' consultations.
"If everything gets finalised... by June-July next year, we should be able to convert T2 into international (terminal)," he added.
Once the conversion is done, the passenger handling capacity at T2 will come down into the region of 7-9 million since international operations require more processing area.
The international passenger traffic at the airport is expected to be 18 million in the current fiscal and that means, it will be back to the pre-Covid level.
The airport handles around 1,500 flight movements daily.
DIAL, a consortium led by GMR Group, is also taking various measures on the sustainability front and aims to become a net-zero carbon emission airport by 2030.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)