Pune Airport Needs Urgent Attention, Says Aviation Analyst

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Sumit Singh

Pune, 13th February 2024: Civil aviation analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar has issued a press release highlighting crucial issues and public demands related to Pune Airport (Lohegaon).

Vandekar has called upon the Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, to address these concerns for the betterment of passenger experience and airport functionality.

The key issues raised by Vandekar include:

1. Expedited Opening of NITB: Vandekar emphasizes the urgent need to open the New Integrated Terminal Building (NITB) to accommodate the expected surge in passengers during the upcoming summer vacation season. The current airport is handling passengers at almost 28% beyond its capacity, and the NITB’s inauguration could significantly alleviate this strain.

2. Cab Pick-Up at NITB: With the expansion of the city-side area, Vandekar proposes allowing cabs to pick up passengers from the NITB after its inauguration. This move aims to reduce the inconvenience for passengers who currently face a long walk to the Aeromall with their baggage, ultimately easing traffic congestion.

3. Reserved Slots for UDAN Flights: Vandekar advocates reserving a minimum of 10 slots for UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) flights at Pune Airport, aligning with the vision of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This initiative seeks to make flight operations more inclusive and socially beneficial.

4. Enhanced Elevator Facilities: Recognizing the challenges faced by certain passengers, Vandekar calls for the installation of more elevators with larger capacity, particularly catering to senior citizens, individuals with health issues, and families with children. The current single elevator has limitations in handling passenger traffic efficiently.

5. Appointment of a Public Relations Officer (PRO): Vandekar proposes the appointment of a Public Relations Officer for Pune Airport to facilitate smoother communication and address passenger concerns effectively.

6. CAT IIIB ILS Installation: Vandekar stresses the installation of Category IIIB Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Lohegaon airport. This system enables flights to operate in poor visibility conditions, ensuring minimal disruptions.

7. Dedicated Lounge for Defense Personnel: A demand is made for the establishment of a dedicated lounge in the NITB for active-duty defense personnel, recognizing their unique needs.

8. Runway Extension: Vandekar advocates extending the existing runway by at least 3000 feet to accommodate the growing demands of air traffic.

9. Pune Metro Extension: Seeking intervention from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Vandekar urges the extension of the Pune Metro up to Lohegaon airport, enhancing connectivity.

10. International Connectivity: Vandekar highlights the urgent need to increase international connectivity from Pune airport, particularly to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe, aligning with the longstanding demands of local industries.

11. UDAN Flights on Pune-Belagavi and Pune-Nashik Sectors: Vandekar recommends providing extensions to UDAN flights on Pune-Belagavi and Pune-Nashik sectors or initiating regular commercial flights on these routes.

“A copy of this comprehensive communication has been shared with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for his information and necessary action”,
Vandekar said.