Fast transit link to Delhi's IGI Airport to open next September

Delhites have long dreamed of breezing through the 24.2 km stretch between Connaught Place and IGI Airport in 20 minutes flat and that is exactly what the Airport Express Line that will open in September next year deliver. It will introduce the capital to City Airport Terminals (CAT), that will allow fast transit to the airport complete with baggage check in, issue of boarding pass and a high speed train to the airport.

The Express line modeled on the Heathrow Express in London and the Hong Kong Metro airport link will take only six halts en route to the airport. For air travelers, airline and baggage check-in counters will be available at NDLS, Shivaji terminus and Dhaula Kuan Metro stations. According to officials the stations will function like mini versions of airport terminals.

The trains too will be different from those on the metro lines as they will cruise at the speed of 135 kmph and offer state-of-the-art facilities for the passengers, which will cost much less than taxi charges as DMRC has decided to keep the fare at a maximum of Rs150 till IGI and an additional R30 to Dwarka.

According to officials, each station on the line will provide fully-automated access for passengers from the ground to the trains with bigger lifts and wider escalators. The CATs will provide for commuters to park their cars in parking lots and take a train to the airport.

Initially the trains will run at a frequency of 10 minutes but will take longer halts at stations to allow passengers to load their baggage. According to the DMRC's projections about 42,000 people will use the service daily for which eight six coach trains will be run.

The metro station at IGI will be built close to the Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 that will handle domestic and international air traffic in 2010. According to sources a tunnel link would provide direct transit to the terminal's lobby.