Pune Airport: Planned in 2008 12 years after the last shutdown

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The Pune airport is scheduled to close for two months later this month, after flights were grounded for two weeks after 2008 for maintenance work. At that time, the Indian Air Force restructured the runway and closed the airport to all civilian flights for 15 days.

Pune Airport is a civilian envelope operating from Lokegaon, the Indian Air Force base, used to train IAF pilots. The runway is available for use for civilian operations managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), with the exception of a few hours a day for training flights.

The decision by the AAI to suspend flights altogether between October 16 and 30, announced on Tuesday, has provoked strong reactions from flyers, businessmen and others questioning the timing of the festival season. 10 days issued by the authorities.

Airlines had booked flights during the relevant period and have now started canceling those sums and returning them to customers.

However, Pune airport is closing like no other international airport – this is not the first time. In 2008, the airport was closed for 14 days (February 12 to 26) when the Air Force undertook runway restoration work. The closure at that time is said to have caused a loss of Rs 15 crore to the airlines.

Flight expert Tairiyashil Vandekar, then Air India’s station manager, was greeted with fresh roses at the passenger arrival and departure terminals when work resumed after 14 days. Air India and the Florists Association of Maharashtra have taken up the initiative. This was greatly appreciated by the flyers, while at the same time highlighting the regional cargo export potential of producing more agricultural products, ”Vandegar said.

In 2014, infrastructure modernization work was carried out at the airport, for which the airport was closed every day from 10 pm to 8 am to facilitate the installation of new embedded lights on the central railway line. Runway. The work took 10 hours and with a few more hours of training, AAI had to struggle on more than 100 flights every day.

According to Vandekar, if the city of Pune wants to get uninterrupted air service, the only solution is to get an independent modern airport.

“Logan Airport is a security airport for which it is built. There will always be barriers to civil operations because there is a single runway, which must be shared between civil and security operations. The only solution to this perennial problem is to create an independent and modern airport, ”Vandegar said.

According to Vandegar, despite the current expansion plans, the city’s needs will not be met by the current airport. Pune needs an airport with a large cargo capacity, heliport, ample number of parking bags, refrigeration facilities, wide access roads and more. No matter how much you change the current location, you will not be able to meet the growing demand, ”Vandegar said.

AAI has undertaken several expansion projects under which a new terminal building is being constructed, cargo facilities are being added and a multi-storey car park has been set up at the present location after purchasing additional land from the Indian Air Force.

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