Pune International Airport (पुणे आंतरराष्ट्रीय विमानतळ, लोहगाव) (IATA: PNQ, ICAO: VAPO) is located approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) north-east of Pune in the state of Maharashtra, India. The airport, operated by the Airports Authority of India, shares its runway with Lohegaon Air Base. Air India has begun operating direct flights from Pune to Dubai, as also Indian Airlines with flights to Singapore thus giving it international status. Pune Airport also serves Indian Airlines, Jet Lite and Jet Airways, that run domestic flights connecting Pune to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, as well as budget carriers like SpiceJet and Deccan.
As Pune airport is in fact an Air Force Base operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), there is at times frequent friction between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the IAF over schedules of flights or the landing of aircraft at night. However there is currently a basic working relationship between the two concerned parties and both have agreed to allow night landings of civilian flights for the time being, though this is not a long-term solution.
Proposal for new Pune International Airport
A brand new greenfield Pune International Airport for the Pune metropolitan region has been on the horizon for a long time and Government of Maharashtra has entrusted the responsibility to Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) for executing the Pune International Airport project. Probable sites for this project had earlier included areas around Talegaon Dabhade and Saswad near Pune. The current area under consideration is the area between Chakan and Rajgurunagar, namely around the villages of Chandus and Shiroli both situated at a distance of 40 km (25 mi) from Pune along the Pune - Nashik National highway, National Highway 50. The new Pune International Airport would act as a gateway of Pune and western Maharashtra to the rest of the world, and agricultural and floricultural exports are expected to get a faster movement to its international markets on the completion of this project.
This airport will spread over 2535 hectares (6338 acres), so it will be the largest airport in India after completion. This airport will have two runways. After construction of the new airport Pune will get more international flights.
MADC has currently requested for proposals from consultants to conduct techno-economic feasibility studies, assist in obtaining the required statutory approvals and provide project management services.
The AAI is constructing additional terminals, since the current terminal can handle only 550 people at a time. After construction, it will be able to handle over 1,200 people at a time. The new terminal will be built to international standards.
The runway is also under renovation and will be extended to 3,250 metres from the current length of 2,600 metres.
After completion of the ongoing renovation work the airport will be able to handle larger aircraft than currently possible. Instrument Landing System (ILS) has also been proposed which would be operational shortly to ensure smooth takeoffs and landings even in deteriorated weather conditions.
Airlines and destinations
Destinations within India include all major metros. Domestic operators are planning to start flights to Aurangabad.
International destinations currently include Dubai served by Air India and Frankfurt, which is served by Lufthansa using a Boeing BBJ2 operated by PrivatAir. This flight recently underwent a change from all business class flight to mixed class flight and travelers now have an option to fly this route in economy class as well.
Transport to and from airport
There are pre-paid taxicab services to and from airport along with pre-paid auto rickshaws. There is a coach service to various key locations in Pune and private car rental services are also available. There is proposal for a metrorail in Pune which will offer a connection to the airport.
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The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2010.
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