India’ first aircraft elevated cross taxiway at Delhi airport to be ready by next December


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India’s first-ever elevated cross taxiway (ECT) is all set to come up at the Delhi Airport. The Delhi International Airport (DIAL) stated that the work on the ECT is scheduled to be completed by December 2022. 

Once commissioned, the 2.1 km-long dual elevated taxiway will not only help decongest the airport and improve circulation paths of aircraft, but also reduce approximately 55,000 tonnes of CO2 emission annually.

“Environment has emerged as a major focus area in the aviation sector. We have been constantly working towards reducing our impact on environment. We have implemented Airport-Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) for airport operations and all runways operation to minimize the aircraft delay and associated emissions. We have ensured that all airside vehicles run on Compressed Natural Gas to reduce the carbon emission load,” said Prabhakar Rao, Deputy Managing Director, GMR Group, the consortium, which leads the DIAL.

The 2.1 km-long dual elevated Eastern Cross Taxiways (ECT) will also help in enhancing passengers’ experience, as they will have to remain inside a plane for a much shorter duration after landing or during take-off.

At present, after landing at runway 29/11 or take-off, an aircraft has to cover a distance of about 9 kilometres. During this period, passengers have to remain inside the plane. After commissioning of the ECT, the aircraft taxing distance will significantly go down to just two km. The aircraft will taxi along the taxiway parallel to runway 11/29 and use the ECT to take a straight path to Terminal one or vice-versa.

The ECT will also help airlines save approximately 350 kg of fuel every time an aircraft uses the taxiing route provided by the ECT from runway 29/11 to Terminal 1 and vice-versa. This would translate in reduction of nearly 1,114 kg of CO2 emissions for each aircraft taxiing along this route. Annually, the ECT is estimated to reduce emission of approximately 55,000 tonnes of CO2 from aircraft.

“Construction of dual Eastern Cross Taxiways, the first-of-its-kind in India, will not only reduce significant amount of carbon emissions but also enhance passenger experience. This is another step towards our goal of becoming a Net Zero Carbon Airport by 2030. The ECT, an integral part of Delhi Airport’s Phase 3A expansion project, would make Delhi Airport future-ready,” added Rao.

In March 2021, DIAL started mounting of girders of ECT across the pillars in the median of Central Spine Road. A total of 590 girders would be mounted. By the second week of July, over 200 girders have already been mounted.

DIAL has ensured that an environment-friendly approach is being followed in the construction of ECT. It is using fly ash, a waste product of coal-fired power plants, in the filling material. DIAL is using around 9,715 MT of fly ash in the construction of ECT. If not used, fly ash would have been disposed in specially designed landfills which could lead to leaching of heavy metals into ground water.

Under Phase 3A, DIAL is also constructing 4.4-kilometre-long 4th Runway, parallel to runway 11/29 on the Southern side. Once commissioned the 4th runway would handle the increased traffic movement. Delhi Airport would become the first airport in India to have four operational runways. The 4th Runway also would help reduce Carbon emission significantly.

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