AAI requests IAF for land on eastern side

Sushant Ranjan
Sunday, 4 February 2018

Pune: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has requested the Indian Air Force (IAF) to give the land of the eastern side for the runway extension at Pune airport. The extension plan was stuck for the last 14 years due to the issue with the acquisition of private land located on the western side of 
the airport.

Pune: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has requested the Indian Air Force (IAF) to give the land of the eastern side for the runway extension at Pune airport. The extension plan was stuck for the last 14 years due to the issue with the acquisition of private land located on the western side of 
the airport.

The issue was discussed in a meeting of Infrastructure Committee of the Union government, which was headed by Nitin Gadkari, on January 30, in New Delhi. The Union minister has directed the IAF to ‘positively consider the proposal’ of carrying out the extension on the other side.

“We have requested the IAF for an extension on the eastern side for 1,000 metres. Now, further action is to be taken by them. Same was discussed at the meeting held at Transport Bhavan on January 30,” said Ajay Kumar, Airport Director, Pune.
The runway of the airport at Lohegaon is about 3-km-long and the IAF and AAI planned to extend the runway by about 1,000 metres, which would enable landing and take-off of wide-bodied aircraft from the airport.

The project, however, has been stuck for the last 14  years, as the 20 acres of private land, which has to be acquired if the plan is to be carried out in the existing form, is difficult 
to come by. 

The owner of the land has moved the Supreme Court opposing the acquisition of the land saying the IAF should use defence land on the eastern side of the runway instead of acquiring the private land.

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, Pune airport has 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. 

After demand from AAI and letter sent by Pune MP Anil Shirole that the IAF should consider using defence land on the eastern side, the issue was discussed at the January 30 meeting of the Infrastructure Committee.

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