Pune: The Pune airport has achieved another milestone after being ranked third in ASQ survey globally, again being ranked third with a growth of 20.6 per cent among top ten airports across the country in the financial year 2017-18, which includes metro cities also.
Ajay Kumar, Director, Pune airport, said, “There are ten airports of above five million passengers in India. Out of these, Pune is at ninth place with 8.16 million passengers in year 2017-18. The growth rate is 20.6 per cent, which is at third place out of top 10 airports. In top 10 airports, Pune is only airport operating with code C aircraft. All others are capable of handling bigger aircraft. Pune is at seventh place in domestic travel with 7.89 million passengers with growth rate of 21.2 per cent.”
According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the wingspan: 24 m but < 36 m, typical aeroplane: Boeing 737-700/Airbus A-320/Embraer ERJ 190-100 are the C code aircraft.
A comparative study of the growth figures of the other main airports of the country suggests that Pune airport registered third highest growth in percentage increase in passenger flow in 2017-18 over the previous fiscal. The rank was 10 in the year 2016-17.
“In terms of international and domestic traffic, we are maintaining our position. The top 10 airports include Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Pune, Goa, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The Kolkata airport rank first, followed by Ahmedabad at second while Pune is number three,” Ajay Kumar said.
“Recently, we achieved 8.2 million passenger footfalls and we are expecting 12.5 million in the next two years. Accordingly, we are converting non-public areas into public areas,” he said.
However, aviation experts said that the figures are far below than the city’s actual potential. “The city’s demand is pushing the air traffic growth in Pune. It is primarily because of the demand created by the industry, trade and commerce, education, IT, tourism and agri fraternity of Pune and Western Maharashtra that has made Pune an internationally sought after business destination,” said Dhairyashil Vandekar, Aviation Expert & Analyst.
According to him, Pune, in 2016-17, was the tenth busiest airport in the country. Over the past years, it has consistently recorded a YoY passenger growth of 25 per cent and above.
“Presently, the average footfalls per day at the airport is around 22,000. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. In keeping with their responsibility, had AAI envisioned the growth in air traffic at Pune and taken futuristic steps for expanding the civil terminal and support infrastructure sometime back, Pune would have long crossed the 100 flights per day and 1 crore annual passenger mark” he said.