Pune Airport to now operate between 8 am and 8 pm only from October end

Indigo aircraft Pune airport
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Pune, August 13, 2020: From October 26, for the next one year, all flights will be able to land at Pune Airport between 8 am and 8 pm only. Not only this, but the Pune Airport might also be likely to close down for few days in April and May next year. However, we are trying that it does not happen, said Kuldeep Singh, Director, Pune Airport.

Pune Airport shares a runway with the Indian Air Force which wants to start repair and expansion work of the airstrip. The airport will have to be closed at night for the repair work. Pune Airport does not have its own space. However, as the Air Force wants to expand and repair the airstrip in the area under its control, there will be restrictions on the take-off and landing of all aircrafts.

For the last several years, there has been talk of opening Pune Airport in a new space. However, the new airport could not be set up due to difficulties in acquiring hundreds of acres of land. But now it is going to have an effect on air travel. Chakan was earlier chosen to set up an airport near Pune. But that project fell through. After that, it was announced to build an international standard airport near Saswad in Purandar taluka of Pune district. But even there, the land required for the airport is yet to be acquired due to strong opposition from citizens over the allotment of land.

After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the British built an airstrip at Lohegaon near Pune. The Lohegaon airstrip was built by the then Royal Air Force to protect Mumbai from enemy attacks. After independence, the Indian Air Force set up an airport for fighter jets at this place. The Lohegaon airbase is used by the Air Force to train for aircrafts such as MiGs and Sukhoi. The Air Force has wanted to repair the base for many years, but the big question before them was what to do with the passenger planes. But now that the Air Force has to work on the runway itself, so there is no choice but to impose restrictions on flights to and from the airport. These restrictions will not affect Pune Airport, Singh claimed adding that the time slots would be made available for take-offs and landings during the day.

However, if there is a time limit on flights, it is likely to affect passengers. People from Pune may have to use Mumbai Airport for air travel. Also, if the Pune Airport has to be completely closed in April and May, Pune residents will have to travel to Mumbai Airport. Taking a lesson from this case, it is expected that the construction process of a new airport in Pune will be accelerated.