The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has ordered a probe into the roof collapse incident at Terminal 1 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), and has directed the airport operator — GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) — to do a thorough inspection.

The inspection will be supervised by aviation safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Civil Aviation Minister Ram Mohan Naidu said after visiting the site.

Additionally, MoCA has decided that all airports will undergo a detailed structural inspection. On Thursday, a portion of the canopy at the new terminal building of Jabalpur airport in Madhya Pradesh caved in and fell on a car after heavy rainfall. No one was luckily injured in that incident. However, in the similar incident in Delhi on Friday morning, one person was killed and eight others injured.

In a post on social media platform X, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Murlidhar Mohol said that the DGCA has been instructed to carry out a high-level probe into the Delhi airport incident, adding that the situation is also being monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After inspecting the incident site, Naidu said that the part of Terminal 1 where the incident took place was the older structure built around 15 years back and not the new part of the terminal inaugurated by the Prime Minister just ahead of this year’s Lok Sabha polls. According to sources in the government, the roof that collapsed was constructed in 2008-09 and the work was contracted out by GMR to private contractors.

Festive offer

Naidu’s clarification came amid sharp attacks from some Opposition leaders, who alleged that an incomplete terminal was hurriedly inaugurated by Modi in view of the general election. The Prime Minister had inaugurated the revamped Terminal 1 on March 10.

Flight operations at IGIA have been impacted as operations from Terminal 1 stand suspended following the collapse of a portion of the roof in the terminal’s forecourt at around 5 AM Friday amid heavy rainfall in the Capital.

Terminal 1 is used only for domestic flight operations, with IndiGo and SpiceJet operating flights from the terminal. According to information provided by IGIA operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), all departing flights of IndiGo and SpiceJet from Terminal 1 stand canceled till 2 PM, while later departures and arrivals are being moved to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. IGIA has three passengers terminals in all, with the largest being Terminal 3.

In a statement early Friday, the country’s largest airline IndiGo said: “IndiGo flight operations are impacted due to structural damage to Terminal 1, Delhi Airport due to adverse weather conditions. This has led to flight cancellations at Delhi as passengers are not able to enter the terminal. Passengers already inside the terminal will be able to board their planned flights, but those with flights later in the day will be offered alternatives.”

The airline added that the unforeseen situation at the Delhi airport has led to operations across the airline’s network being impacted. IGIA, which is the country’s largest airport by passenger volumes, is a major hub for most Indian carriers, including IndiGo.

“Important Update: Due to bad weather (heavy rains), SpiceJet flights have been canceled as Terminal 1 of Delhi Airport will remain partially closed for operations until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding,” budget carrier SpiceJet posted on X early Friday. The airline later informed passengers that flights scheduled from Terminal 1 were being “re-accommodated to Terminal 3”.

Both IndiGo and SpiceJet said that the affected passengers can choose alternative flights or a full refund.