Imagine the hustle and bustle of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi, managing a whopping 1,500 aircraft movements every day. Now, here’s some fascinating news – airlines operating from this airport are set to enjoy significant savings, estimated at approximately Rs 150-180 crore annually. The secret behind this financial boon lies in the employment of the Delhi airport’s Eastern Cross Taxiways (ECT).


These Eastern Cross Taxiways, stretching across 2.1 kilometers, are not just your ordinary pathways. They have the ability to accommodate wide-body aircraft, offering a shortcut that not only reduces taxiing time but also curtails fuel consumption by the planes. According to Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the CEO of Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the company that operates IGIA, if around 10-15% of aircraft utilize these special taxiways, the collective impact could result in savings equivalent to 55,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.


Jaipuriar, in a recent interview, shared insights into how these savings translate into financial gains for airlines. He explained that by utilizing the ECT, airlines stand to save Rs 150 to Rs 180 crore. To break down the math, each liter of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) produces 2.5-3 kg of carbon dioxide. Considering the estimated savings of 55,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the result is a staggering reduction of 18,000 tonnes of ATF. Given that each tonne of ATF costs Rs 1 lakh, and with a rate of Rs 100 per liter, the expected savings for airlines, thanks to reduced taxiing time, are projected to be around Rs 150-180 crore.


Now, you might be wondering how this magical ECT achieves such remarkable outcomes. Essentially, the taxiways cut down the time aircraft spend on the tarmac after landing and before taking off. On average, for an aircraft landing in the north and proceeding to the south via the ECT, 7-8 minutes of taxiing time are saved. This seemingly small reduction in time equates to substantial benefits, both environmentally and economically.


Moreover, the ECT is estimated to save approximately 350 kg of fuel each time an aircraft taxis through the runway from RW 29R to Terminal 1 and vice versa. This translates into a reduction of nearly 1,114 kilograms of CO2 emissions for each aircraft traveling this route. Annually, it is expected to cut down emissions by a whopping 55,000 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to planting about 15 lakh trees.


The dual-lane ECT is no small feat; it can handle wide-body aircraft, including giants like the A380, B777, and B747. The lanes are 44 meters wide, with a 47-meter gap between them, allowing the simultaneous passage of two aircraft. In practical terms, the distance an aircraft needs to cover after landing on the third runway and heading to Terminal 1 will be reduced from 9 kilometers to just 2 kilometers. Talk about making the journey smoother and greener!