Monday, May 7, 2018

New Pune airport terminal work to start in July


PUNE: Construction work for the new terminal building at Pune airport is expected to start by the end of July. The airport needs more space with a steep rise in the number of passengers as well as flights, said officials. They added that the tender was expected to be floated by the middle of May.

“The design of the terminal building has been approved. The construction work is expected to start by the end of July. The new terminal building should be ready for operation by 2020-2021. It is part of the Pune airport’s expansion plan,” said an official.

On May 3, Jayant Sinha, the minister of state for civil aviation, had said that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) was in the process of implementing plans for the development of infrastructure by creating additional capacity at the AAI airports. They include the airports in Pune, Guwahati, Lucknow, Agartala, Patna, Srinagar, Chennai, Trichy, Vijayawada, Port Blair, Jaipur, Mangalore, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Kolhapur, Goa, Rupsi, Leh, Calicut, Imphal, Varanasi and Bhubaneswar with a capital expenditure of Rs 20,178 crore in the next four to five years.

“The terminal building will have all the facilities required for passenger comfort. The current terminal building has also been expanded and more facilities are being added to it from time to time. However, to provide the passengers with a seamless and hassle-free travel experience, one needs more space considering the rise in the passenger traffic at the airport,” another official said.

A graphic design of the airport’s new building was being prepared and will be made public soon. “The graphic or a walkthrough of the upcoming building, which will enable people to experience what is in store at the airport, is currently under preparation and will be unveiled soon,” the official said.

Apart from the new building, the airport’s expansion plan includes an integrated cargo hub, a multi-storeyed parking facility, a bigger apron area with more aircraft parking bays and additional aerobridges, among other facilities. The tender for the same will be floated by mid May with the gestation period being of 45 days.

“The passenger traffic at the Pune airport has touched the 8-million mark and is set to increase further. Space crunch can lead to many issues like unnecessary delays, people being made to sit on a flight even after it has landed, passengers having to walk from/to the aircraft to/from the terminal building, among others,” said Dhairyashil Vandekar, an aviation expert and analyst.

He said the expansion work should have started a few years back. The deadline for completion of the works can only be met if the AAI expedites the activity using modern civil engineering techniques and ensures that the work is not dragged beyond schedule. He hoped that AAI will come up with modern systems and flow management processes to reduce procedure time for fliers at the new terminal building.


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