Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

Delhi International Airport Gets More Immigration, E-visa Counters

Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi

The Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is getting new additions to facilitate faster services for customers. 

As many as 46 new e-visa counters and 14 immigration counters have been added at the airport, the Hindustan Times reported, citing officials from the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL). Passengers earlier had to wait for a longer time for the immigration process, since only six immigration counters and 18 e-visa counters were operational.  

“We now have 64 e-visa on arrival counters. These will contribute in reducing queue time for passengers,” a DIAL spokesperson told the publication. “The expansion work started in March this year.”   

The “domestic to international” transfer area at the airport has also been expanded to save the passengers’ time. It will be ready for public use by the end of this month, the report said. 

The airport will also have improved facilities for senior citizens and differently-abled passengers, including lifts in the transfer area that would take passengers directly to the departure level from where they can proceed to the boarding area.  

Passengers availing the e-visa on arrival scheme will also get dedicated routes from Sept. 30.  

“The e-visa on arrival passengers will be given an exclusive route. They will not be mixed up with the other immigration passengers. Flap gates have also been installed,” the report quoted the DIAL spokesperson as saying.  

Plans to introduce e-clearance immigration gates at the IGI Airport, which will shorten the immigration queue to 15 seconds, were announced earlier this year. The technology has been adopted at several airports abroad and will first be introduced on a trial basis at the Delhi airport, the Economic Times had previously reported.  

The state-of-the-art technology can scan and read passport details while a camera detects the passenger’s face at the e-gate, according to the official. The gate will swing open after the details are scanned. The machine needs to be fed with a database containing information that has been gathered beforehand. “Low-risk travelers who have been approved and verified by agencies can be allowed to go through by the machine. A database will be made for travelers who go abroad often,” the report had quoted an official as saying.  

The Indira Gandhi International Airport was placed among the world’s top 20 busy airports, according to Airports Council International rankings released earlier this year. The airport took the 16th spot, pushing out the John F Kennedy Airport, which had occupied the position since 2003. The Delhi airport handled 63.5 million passengers in 2017, according to ACI, which also named it as the best airport for passenger service in 2017.