Pune’s Purandar International Airport Gets Closer to Reality as Air Force Takes Charge of Technical Plan

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Pune, 8th November 2023: After lingering in uncertainty for eight years, the technical blueprint for Purandar International Airport is set to be finalized by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Central Government has entrusted the Air Force with the crucial task of addressing the ongoing issues faced by Punekars at Lohegaon Airport and devising a comprehensive technical plan to prevent their recurrence. This initiative comes as a response to the lack of expansion space at Lohegaon, the city’s sole airport, which is also a military airbase.

The proposed plan, estimated to cost around Rs 5 thousand crores, aims to cater to the growing aviation needs of Pune for the next twenty-five to thirty years. To accommodate this expansion, the Air Force has suggested incorporating four to six roads and a minimum of four runways leading to the airport.

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Lohegaon Airport, being a military facility, faces constraints in expansion, prompting the district administration to recommend Purandar as the site for the new international airport. Despite financial challenges, the support from State Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and Ajit Pawar signals optimism for the project’s progression.

According to officials, the design will consider the lessons learned from managing the challenges at Lohegaon. With the increasing traffic in Pune, the plan aims to address the critical issue of accessibility, proposing multiple roads to Purandar.

An officer revealed, “After the international airport is established in Purandar, air traffic is expected to surge at least tenfold compared to the current scenario. The experience gained from daily operations at Lohegaon equips the Air Force to meticulously craft this technical plan, ensuring the smooth flow of air traffic.”

Concerns have been raised regarding the distance from Pune to Purandar, approximately 40 to 45 km, which could result in a two-hour commute. However, the proposed 2,832 hectares of land for Purandar airport aims to accommodate the expected growth of Pune over the next decade.

Additionally, the technical plan will address potential challenges with birds around the airport.