MUMBAI: Major airports such as Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai are at the highest risk of saturation with increase in number of fliers. Smaller airports like Agartala, Dehradun, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Pune, Srinagar and Trichy are already operating beyond their design capacity.
The Indian airport system is expected to exceed its maximum structural capacity by FY 2022 and this level could be breached earlier if the new airport projects are delayed.
Maximum structural capacity is the maximum passengers an airport can handle if all the possible infrastructure and operational improvements are carried out. Beyond this, the only option would be to go for a new airport at a different site.
For airlines, the big challenge would be getting arrival/departure time slots and parking bays. Indian carriers are expected to induct close to 350-400 aircraft over the next five years.
“These aircraft will also have to fly somewhere. As metro airports become saturated, airlines will have to deploy more capacity to Tier 2 cities over the next 3 years due to slot constraints,” says the CAPA report. Then there is the parking problem—where will the airlines park their A320s and B737s for night?
“Airlines are already facing challenges securing overnight parking bays. This will become increasingly difficult with so many aircraft scheduled for induction over the next 5 years,” the report said.