‘Focus is on facilities for passengers’
Airport Director Ajay Kumar speaks to Sushant Ranjan about his optimisim following former district collector Saurabh Rao taking charge as Pune Municipal Commissioner, which Kumar feels will speed up pending works related to the airport and surrounding roads.
Q. How do you plan to solve the traffic congestion problem at the airport’s entrance and exit?
- We have been trying our best and we have already made two exit gates. During peak hours, a lot of vehicles enter the premises. The traffic police are also there on the road that goes to the city, which is narrow. We are in talks with Municipal Commissioner Saurabh Rao to widen the road. It is a welcome move that the former collector is now the commissioner. He knows all about the current situation. We expect widening of the road to be his priority.
Q. Pune airport achieved the milestone of being ranked 3rd in the ASQ survey globally in terms of passengers’ movement. But many passengers complain about lack of space and facilities at the airport. How do you plan to address that?
- Recently, we achieved 8.2 million passengers’ footfall and we are expecting 12.5 million after two years. Accordingly, we are converting non-public areas into public areas. We have increased the seating capacity in Security Hold Areas (SHA) 1 and 2. Our focus is to provide facilities to passengers. When the new building is ready, which is expected to be complete by 2020, the facilities will increase
Q. What measures are you adopting for saving energy at the airport?
- This airport comes under the Airport Authority of India (AAI). AAI has plans to focus on energy saving.
Recently, 2,500 LED lights were installed in the airport. Earlier, it was a load of 192 KW and now, it is reduced by 80 KW. The 300 KWP solar project is under installation.
Q. Most of the time, passengers are forced to wait inside the aircraft as the parking bay is not vacant in the evening. What is your plan to tackle this situation?
- When flights are on time, have you ever heard about the aircraft waiting to deboard the passengers? We are developing a new apron base, which is scheduled to be completed by October. Currently, we have eight parking bays and we are developing five new bays. With 13 bays, airlines will not have to wait even in peak hours.
Q. Can you tell us more about food outlets and restaurants opening inside the terminal building?
- There are 12 new food outlets which will open soon. A low price cafeteria, a packed sweets counter, a low cost food outlet and four snack bars are already functional.