Delhi Airport becomes India's first airport to have world-class Covid testing laboratory

25 September 2020

Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, India is gradually entering a crucial stage of relaxing International borders. While the first quarter of the year 2020 saw aviation and travel sector going through a rough patch, it was only after May 25 that the industry conditions in India improved considerably. This began with our country opening up its border and steadily establishing air bubble arrangements with several other countries. Anticipating a gradual increase in the number of international arrivals, GMR led Delhi International Airport took a giant leap in the fight against coronavirus.


Recently, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has set an on-site coronavirus testing lab at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). This is first such arrangement among Indian airports, paving way towards making a safe journey for all the fliers. The facility aims to ensure a safe journey of all passengers, especially the international arriving passengers entering the city or scheduled for domestic connecting flights .

Done in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, a Delhi-based laboratory (which is currently associated with Delhi government to test COVID-19 samples), this facility conducts testing and sample collection for COVID-19 in compliance with the protocols established by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Once in the airport, passengers can easily avail this facility from the sample collection stations positioned near the arrival pier or can visit the main lab constructed in 3500 square meter area at multi-level car parking (MLCP) of Terminal 3.

The sample collection process is quick and easy with the results being declared within 4-6 hours of test. Until then, the passengers will be isolated at the waiting lounge or may opt to stay in a hotel. In case of a positive result, the passenger will be processed in line with applicable ICMR protocols by the State authorities. This will help the authorities concerned to avoid passengers affected with the disease from coming in close contact with those already having RT-PCR negative report.

As many of the passengers were finding it tough to produce negative RT-PCR test report for which the test was conducted within 96 hours before undertaking the journey, they were not able to avail any of the quarantine exemption facilities provided in our country. To ease out the situation, Government of India in its recent guidelines has permitted all arriving international passengers to have an option of getting RT-PCR/ TrueNat/ CBNAAT (including GeneXpert) testing done at the entry airport. And if the test results into a negative report, the passenger will be allowed to take connecting flight to other domestic destinations in India without needing to be quarantined at the city of entry airport. Other international arriving passengers tested negative and exiting from the city of entry airport would be exempted from the institutional quarantine, permitting them to proceed for home quarantine, as per the guidelines of State Government concerned.


Working in-line with the government guidelines, Delhi Airport has already established an on-site Covid testing laboratory. The laboratory provides walk-in option to get the test conducted after landing at Delhi Airport. Passengers can opt for this facility online as well and book a slot in advance. While applying online for this facility passengers will have to provide with their details such as, name, contact details and valid ID proof. They will also have an option to modify the slot in case they are not able to reach at the scheduled appointment time. Besides, passengers belonging to the same family can book a single slot all together through online.

To apply online for Covid-19 testing facility at Delhi Airport, visit