Passengers Endure Hours-Long Delays at Pune Airport Due to Parking Bay Shortage

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Pune, 8th July 2024: On Saturday (6th July) at midnight, commuters faced delays due to the late availability of parking bays and congestion at Aeromall. Passengers took 40 minutes to reach Pune from Nagpur by air, but it took them nearly two hours to exit Pune Airport.

The Indigo flight (6E835) from Nagpur to Pune departed at 11:20 pm and landed at Pune Airport at 12 am. However, due to a lack of available parking bays, the aircraft and passengers had to wait for an hour. Finally, around 1 am, the parking bay became available, allowing passengers to leave. Similar congestion awaited them at Aeromall, where long queues formed.

While some passengers waited for cabs, others navigated through chaos within the mall. It took an additional hour for passengers to exit Aeromall. This incident occurring on Saturday at midnight is not unusual. Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) regarding the airport’s management.

The Airports Authority of India constructed the multi-level car parking Aeromall at a cost of approximately Rs. 120 crores. Despite its capacity to accommodate 1,000 four-wheelers, passengers have faced numerous issues at Aeromall in recent days. After leaving the terminal, passengers reach the second floor of Aeromall via a pedestrian bridge, where cab services are available but are often overcrowded.

Passengers, some with luggage and small children, frequently face extended waiting times to hail a cab. This is compounded by limited seating and a single designated exit point for taxis. Basic facilities are inadequate in both the terminal and Aeromall, compounding passenger frustrations with airport management.

Criticism has been directed at the Pune Airport Administration for prioritizing commercial spaces over essential passenger facilities like parking and cab services. The heavy reliance on revenue from food and retail shops contrasts sharply with the insufficient support for cab services, crucial for passenger convenience.

Efforts to obtain further information from Airport Director Santosh Dhoke and Aeromall Vice President VR Rajput were unsuccessful.

Key issues at Aeromall include:

– Cabs serviced from a single floor leading to long waits
– Waiting times of 20 to 30 minutes after cab bookings
– Limited seating causing standing congestion
– Delayed cab arrivals increasing passenger congestion
– Reluctance of cab drivers to serve nearby areas due to operational challenges
– Congestion from rickshaws and cabs sharing the same space aggravating traffic jams