G20 Summit: 29 dignitaries arrive in Delhi, many of them in 3 frenetic hours
3,000 police and paramilitary personnel guarded and facilitated the movement of VVIP cavalcades leaving the airport
At least 29 flights carrying heads of State or their representatives landed in the Capital on Friday, with the Indira Gandhi International Airport deploying extra air traffic controllers (ATCOs) to coordinate all flight movements, officials aware of the matter said.
At least 12 of the 29 flights landed within three-and-a-half hours, with the separation between some flights being as little as under ten minutes, leading to frenetic arrangements to receive and dispatch the dignitaries to their respective hotels.
A government official said, “ATCOs are working with 10% more staff than usual to handle the flight movements throughout the G20 Summit. A few of them have been called to work at Delhi airport from various other stations.” He added, “Fifty-five aircraft are expected to land in Delhi with VVIPs. While many will be parked at T3, a few of them will land at Air Force Station, Palam. All these landings will be completed by Saturday noon.”
A Delhi Police officer aware of the security arrangements said that about 3,000 police and paramilitary personnel guarded and facilitated the movement of VVIP cavalcades leaving the airport.
The officer said the first foreign delegate to land in Delhi on Friday was Argentina President Alberto Fernández, who arrived at 6.20am. “Among the other dignitaries who arrived on Friday were the heads of state and representatives of South Africa, the UK, Oman, Russia, Japan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Italy Australia, the US, Canada, China, the UAE, The Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, and Indonesia. The German chancellor and the president of France will reach Delhi on Saturday,” the officer said.
A second police officer said that around 25,000 police and traffic personnel were deployed at different points between the airport and the hotels where the dignitaries are staying.
Meanwhile, other flight operations at IGI airport saw delays in departures and arrivals by 30-40 minutes.
Officials from Delhi Airport International Ltd (DIAL), which operates IGI airport, earlier said a team of senior officials will monitor arrivals and departures related to the Summit, and that dedicated gates and corridors will be set up to ensure a seamless immigration process for G20 delegates.
“While some guests will be arriving at the Air Force Station, Palam, there are many other heads of states as well as other delegation members who are going to come at T3. We have made special arrangements for them,” DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said.