Thursday, August 10, 2017

AAI demands runway extension

Pune: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has demanded for a runway extension from the Indian Air Force in a bid to accommodate higher capacity aircraft for new domestic as well as international destinations. The AAI has demanded that the existing runway be stretched to another 1,000 metres so that in future, the wide body aircraft would be able to take off from the Pune airport at Lohegaon.
Giving details of this extension plan, AAI’s Pune airport director Ajay Kumar told Mirror, “Currently we are operating direct flights for three international destinations and various domestic destination flights from Pune. Looking at the increasing number of passengers over the last few years, even the airlines want to increase their list of international destinations from Pune, that too, with higher capacity aircraft. And that needs long runways, so we have sent a proposal to the Air Force, demanding to extend the runway by 900 to 1,000 metres, so that wide body aircraft can operate from here.”

Currently, Pune airport has direct flights to three international destinations — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt, while there are several domestic flights to Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Goa and Hyderabad among others. “At present, we have aircraft like Boeing 737, 747 and 777 and Airbus A320 and A310, which have a seating capacity of around 150 to 180 passengers. For the bigger aircraft, this capacity can be increased up to 250, which is beneficial for airline operators as well as the passengers. So, once this extension happens, we can also spread our wings to the new international as well as domestic destinations with higher capacity aircrafts. Soon, we are starting a new domestic destination flight to Coimbatore,” Kumar added.
10/08/17 Dheeraj Bengrut/Pune Mirror