Two months after J W Marriott Hotel became the first in Aerocity to start operations, two other hotels, Red Fox and Lemon Tree, have been given partial clearances by Delhi Police to open dining and lodging services.
The hotels will be allowed to function with some pre-conditions. Rooms facing the runway will need to have bullet-proof glass panes and will be cleared by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
On October 7, J W Marriott became the first hotel at the 43-acre project site to be given partial clearance by the security department of Delhi Police. The green signal for dining and lodging services was subject to the pre-condition that 105 of the 523 rooms in the hotel, which face the runway, would not open till bullet-proofing was in place. On November 21, the hotel announced its formal launch.
Following the clearance to Marriott, the Red Fox and Lemon Tree hotels asked Delhi Police to carry out an inspection.
After two inspections, the two hotels were issued no-objection certificates earlier this week for dining and lodging services. Authorities of the two hotels were told that they too could not let out rooms facing the runway without clearance from the DRDO.
Sources said eleven rooms of Red Fox which face the runway will remain closed. At Lemon Tree, the count of rooms facing the runway is 112.
A committee comprising representatives of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Delhi Police visited San Diego and Amsterdam airports in March this year following which they issued a set of recommendations to the hotels including access control, CCTV installation and bullet-proofing windows of rooms facing the runway.
The Aerocity, a project owned by airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), had plans for 5,400 rooms. Approved in 2007, it was to be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2010. But it ran behind schedule and was red-flagged by Delhi Police in 2011 in view of the proximity to the runway. Police raised concerns, calling it a potential launch pad for militant attacks.