It isn't every day you can take pride in world class infrastructure in India. But the newly inaugurated Terminal 3 at Delhi International Airport has given us this rare opportunity. Inaugurated on July 3 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the 5.4 million sq. ft super structure is said to be one of the most state-of-the-art terminals in the world, and the sixth largest.
It was built in a record 37 months for an estimated cost of about $2.7 billion through a robust public-private partnership. The spanking new airport is expected to handle 34 million passengers annually, compared with the less than 10 million passengers that Terminal 2 can cater to right now.
‘This airport terminal establishes new global benchmarks. It exemplifies our country's resolve to bridge the infrastructure deficit in our country. It also proves the success of public-private partnership,’ Singh said at the ceremony. ‘We have proved the sceptics wrong.’Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
He also said it was noteworthy that India was today the ninth-largest aviation market, with 10 listed airlines, as opposed to just two in 1990, and expressed confidence that the new airport will help Delhi become a travel hub for South-east Asia.
For years, travellers have expressed disdain for the shoddy quality and less than perfect service standards at our international airports. But, gradually, it seems the Indian flying experience is itself taking flight with glitzy new airports in Hyderabad, Bangalore and now Delhi.
At the very least we’ll be giving tourists a much more favourable first impression. After all, for too long, their first glimpses of India were of ill-maintained airport terminals and serpentine immigration queues.