Monday, October 24, 2016

Pune's Hadapsar gliding centre upgrade a waste: Experts

Commercial flight operations at the Hadapsar gliding centre notified under the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN (Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), will lead to cost escalation and confusion if the airport at Purandar comes up, aviation experts said. The gliding centre is 23km from Purandar.
"Two airports within 25km of each other will lead to duplication and muddles in flight operations. UDAN is a good decision from the Centre. It focuses on making `ghost' airports functional. In Pune, the state government has already decided on a new airport in Purandar. Rather than starting commercial flight operations at the gliding centre, the authorities can add another terminal to the Purandar airport design to fit the UDAN scheme," aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar told TOI on Sunday.
The ministry of civil aviation on Friday announced the UDAN scheme to boost air travel between smaller cities. Fares for one-hour flights have been capped at Rs 2,500 with the scheme expected to start from January. The Centre has identified unused or under-utilized airports that have the infrastructure to operate flights.
Airlines will bid for routes that connect small towns to cities. If the cost of a seat exceeds Rs 2,500, the government will pay the difference by either collecting more from the airlines operating on profitable routes or charging a 2% cess from passengers on profitable routes.
24/10/16 Joy Sengupta/The Times Of India