One of the biggest airports for international and domestic airways is Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, located in the city of Delhi. The airport has been named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru.
The airport was earlier known as Palam airport. With the inauguration new international building (Terminal 2) on May 2, 1986, the airport was renamed IGI airport. The older Palam airport (Terminal 1) is exclusively used for domestic operations. For the use of VVIP movements there is also a separate Technical Area
The rated capacity of IGI airport's domestic area is said to be 8.4 million passengers per annum whereas the actual throughput last year was 10.5 million, an excess of 25%. The airport handled around 13 million passengers in 2005.
Delhi Airport has two non-parallel runways: the main runway 10-28 (12,500 ft) and an auxiliary runway 09-27 (9,229 ft). Runway 10-28 is one of the few runways in Asia equipped with CAT III-B Instrument Landing System. On 31 March 2006, IGI became the first Indian airport to operate two runways simultaneously following a test run involving a SpiceJet plane landing and a Jet Airways plane taking off at the same time.
As there is an Indian Air Force Base (Hindon) in the flight path of Delhi airport it is necessary for civilian aircraft to make a 5 minute detour to avoid over-flying the military facility
IGI Airport is the home of several Indian airlines including Air Sahara, SpiceJet, Alliance Air and IndiGo Airlines. Air India, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways use IGI Airport as their second hub after Mumbai's Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The airport is also a major base for various other Indian air carriers including Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, Air Deccan and Air Sahara.
The International Terminal (Terminal II) has 35 airlines flying to major cities across the world. Terminal 1 serves domestic air carriers linking New Delhi with the rest of India. It has three terminals - Terminal 1A & Terminal 1B and Domestic Arrival terminal. The road distance between the two terminals is eight kilometers.