Sunday, 27 August 2017

Airport authority to expand apron area by next year

27/08/2017

PUNE: The Pune Airport Authorities, in a bid to allow uninterrupted operations, have decided to increase the airport apron size to 15.86 acres. The extension is likely to be done by next year.

Airport apron is the area where aircraft operations like parking, loading-unloading, refuelling and boarding are carried out. The decision comes as a relief to passengers who claimed to have had to wait for a long time or get wet in the rain while boarding the aircraft. Passengers blame airlines for not providing them with adequate facilities during rains, which resulted in them getting drenched during boarding.

However, the airlines, while stating that all facilities are provided to passengers, have said the lack of space in the apron area and limited number of aerobridges have posed problems for them too. On August 19, Ardhendu Pathak tweeted against a private airline saying that boarding had been delayed by more than 40 minutes due to the want of umbrellas at the Pune airport. The airline refuted the claim and replied that the flight was delayed due to the late arrival of another flight.

Pathak, however, remained unconvinced. "They just denied and put up a feeble excuse. It was strange to see a huge aircraft wait almost an hour as the passengers didn't have umbrellas," Pathak told pune-news.com.

Similarly , on August 19 one Yogesh Dubey tweeted about a low-cost carrier."The doors of the aircraft didn't open for 30 minutes since landing. Passengers are suffering," he wrote.When inquired, a source from the airlines said the doors were not opened as it was raining heavily at the airport at the same time.

Again on August 20 another passenger named Prayag tweeted to a premier airline. He said, "Very poor boarding process and protocol made us stand in the rain for 10 minutes before boarding." Another passenger Kshitiz Dubey, who travels from the Pune airport regularly , said, "Every time we have to walk down to the aircraft from the terminal building, or vice versa be in summers, winters or rains. The condition worsens during monsoon. I have not seen any kind of special arrangements being made by the airport authorities or airlines to deal with the issue," Dubey , a student, said.

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