|Pune International Airport
|IATA: PNQ – ICAO: VAPO|
|Owner||Indian Air Force|
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Location||Pune, Maharashtra, India|
|Elevation AMSL||1,942 ft / 592 m|
Pune Airport (IATA: PNQ, ICAO: VAPO) is located approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) north-east of Pune in the state of Maharashtra, India. The airport is a civil enclave operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at the eastern side of Lohegaon Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The airport handles both domestic and international flights.
Pune Airport has a 2535 metre long runway oriented 10/28. A former secondary runway is now used as a taxiway by the IAF. A 2200m x 23m parallel taxiway has been constructed by AAI to facilitate civil operation on the southern side of Rwy 10/28. The Airfield is equipped with night landing facilities as well as navigational facilities like DVOR/DME and an NDB.  As Pune's Air Traffic Control is operated by the IAF, there is often friction between the AAI and the IAF over flight schedules and night landings. There is currently a basic working relationship between the two parties; they have agreed to allow night landings of civilian flights for the time being, though this is not a long-term solution.
The airfield was established in 1939 as RAF Poona to provide air security to the city of Bombay (now Mumbai). The base was home to World War II squadrons of de Havilland Mosquito and Vickers Wellington bombers and Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft. In May 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force took charge of the airfield. The Pune Airport was declared as a customs airport in January 1997 for the export of specified goods. With effect from 12 December 2005, Pune Airport was notified as an international airport for the clearance of passengers and baggage. International flights to Dubai and Singapore commenced by Indian (Previously Indian Airlines) in 2005. These flights however were cancelled later. In 2004–05, Pune Airport handled about 165 passengers a day, which works out to around 60,000 a year. It increased to 250 passengers a day in 2005–06. There was a sharp rise in 2006–07 when passengers reached 4,309 a day making it over 1,500,000 a year and more than 2.8 million passengers a year in 2010– 2011 (about 8,000 passengers a day).
A ₹1 billion airport modernisation plan was launched in August 2008 ahead of the Commonwealth Youth Games hosted by Pune. AAI constructed two new terminal buildings for international passenger departures and arrivals, measuring nearly 12,000 sq. mt. on either side of the 6,500 sq mt old main terminal building which was inadequate for the increase in passengers and flight operations. The new buildings have helped ease peak-time pressure of air passengers. Facilities developed on the air side include a new parallel taxi track and an apron expanded to accommodate eight Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 aircraft. Two aerobridges were also commissioned in 2011. New conveyor belts and passenger facilities including a modern spa were also commissioned.
The AAI will invest nearly ₹200 million in 2012 for various expansion projects at the airport, include a three-storey administrative complex located near the entrance of the airport terminal building, new hangars for small private aircraft and a canopy on the city side of the airport terminal building.
All the offices of the AAI and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will move to the new administrative block, creating more space in the terminal building. The building will also house a VIP lounge with independent access to the airport terminal building.The airport power sub-station near the entrance gate will also be shifted to the new building this freeing up more space for developing passenger amenities.
The runway is also under renovation and will be extended to 3,250 metres from the current length of 2,600 metres. After completion of the ongoing renovation work the airport will be able to handle larger aircraft than currently possible. The Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt is compelled to take a refuelling stop due to payload constraints at Pune, arising out of the short runway. It takes off from Pune Airport with partially filled fuel tanks and refuels again on the way. An Instrument landing system (ILS) has also been proposed which would be operational shortly to ensure smooth takeoffs and landings even in deteriorated weather conditions.
There is a proposal of starting cargo facility from this airport. International cargo facility is vital for Pune as many airlines want to start cargo flights to/from Pune. This project will enable foreign cargo operators to operate to Pune. Pune was declared as customs airport on 17 January 1997, primary for exporting perishable agricultural products, i.e. flowers, fruits, vegetable and processed food. This project will also help to attract of foreign airlines to operate to Pune. For instance Silk Air a subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines wants to operate non-stop from Singapore to Pune. This 600 square metre terminal will be located adjacent to the new arrival terminal.
Proposal for new Pune International Airport
Due to the limited expansion options available, the airport will not be able to cope with the growing demand for air traffic into Pune. Hence, a greenfield airport for the Pune metropolitan region has been proposed. The Government of Maharashtra has entrusted the responsibility to Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) for executing the Pune International Airport project. Probable sites for this project had earlier included areas around Talegaon Dabhade and Saswad near Pune. An area between Chakan and Rajgurunagar, around the villages of Chandus and Shiroli was under consideration. However, due to land acquisition issues, a new site further west of this site, around the villages of Askhed Budrukh, Koye, Kurunde and Piet was decided upon. This airport will cover 1,800 hectares and will have two runways. MADC requested proposals from consultants to conduct techno-economic feasibility studies, assist in obtaining the required statutory approvals and provide project management services. Work on this airport was expected to have started by 2011. The State Government allocated Rs 2 billion in August 2012 to acquire 1,800 hectares of land for the airport.
Airlines and destinations
Air Force Station, Lohegaon
Lohegaon Air Force Station at Pune is one of the oldest establishments in the Indian Air Force. An IAF Base Repair Depot and three SU-30 MKI squadrons – Lightning, Rhinos and Lions – are based at Lohegaon.
Pre-paid taxicab and auto rickshaw services to and from airport are available. Coach services to various key locations in Pune and private car rental services are also available. PMPML operates aircondtioned buses to the airport as while buses operating to Viman Nagar terminate at the airport. Parking charges at the airport are ₹ 85 per two hour and ₹330 per day.
- "TRAFFIC STATISTICS - DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL PASSENGERS" (jsp). Aai.aero. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- AAI website, 1 November 2011, retrieved 1 February 2012
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- "Back To India". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
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- "Pune airport braces for swanky look AAI to spend Rs 20 cr". Times of India. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- TOI, 23 March 2015, retrieved 23 March 2015
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- Lohegaon airport to have int’l cargo centre
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- New Airport to take off by 2011
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- "IndiGo's TRV-BLR-PNQ flight operates from international terminal". facebook. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "parking facilities at pune airport". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
Media related to Pune Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Discover Pune
- Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC)
- Proposal for Pune International Airport
- New airport site under wraps
- Airport information for VAPO at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for VAPO at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- Accident history for PNQ: Pune-Lohegaon Airport at Aviation Safety Network