Pune, 2nd February 2024: In the past year, Pune airport witnessed a significant surge in passenger traffic, recording a 37% increase compared to 2022. While airport authorities hailed these figures as impressive, passengers seemed less enthused. The data reveals that a total of 94.59 lakh passengers utilized Pune airport in 2023, a notable rise from the 69.26 lakh passengers in 2022.
The original annual passenger capacity of the integrated facility was designed for 19.1 million passengers. With the introduction of the new terminal building, the annual capacity has increased to 12 million passengers, up from 7.1 million in the existing structure.
Deepak Shastri, an aviation expert and former director of Pune airport, emphasized, “The Pune airport is akin to a Banyan tree planted in a clay pot. Unless we address the longstanding issue of runway capacity, which has been pending for 25 years, challenges such as overcrowding will persist. Enhancing the runway capacity remains the sole solution. While the new terminal building can alleviate passenger traffic temporarily, it falls short for long-term sustainability.”