Pune International Airport
|Owner||Indian Air Force|
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Location||10 km NE of Pune, Maharashtra, India|
|Elevation AMSL||592 m / 1,942 ft|
|Statistics (April 2018 - March 2019)|
Pune Airport, (IATA: PNQ, ICAO: VAPO) is located approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast of the historic centre of Pune in the state of Maharashtra, India. The airport is a civil enclave operated by the Airports Authority of India at the western side of Lohagaon Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force. The airport serves both domestic and international flights, especially to West Asia. In financial year 2020, the airport handled 8.09 million passengers. The increasing flights have made construction of a new terminal and runway expansion mandatory. The airport is awarded as best airport by hygiene measures in Asia-Pacific in 2020 by Airports Council International
Pune Airport has a 2535m long runway oriented 10/28. A former secondary runway is now used as a taxiway by the IAF. A 2200m x 23m parallel taxiway was 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 certified as a customs 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 not cancelled later. In 2004–05, Pune Airport handled about 165 passengers a day or 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 (1,500,000 a year) and more than 2.8 million passengers a year in 2010– 2011 (about 8,000 passengers a day). Pune International Airport at Lohegaon was ranked third best in the category of 5-15 million passengers by Airport Service Quality.
A ₹ 1 billion airport modernisation plan was launched in preparation for the Commonwealth Youth Games hosted by Pune. In August 2008, AAI completed construction of two new terminal extensions for international passenger departures and arrivals, measuring nearly 12,000 sqm on either side of the 6,500 sqm old main terminal building which was inadequate for the increase in passengers and flight operations. The terminal extensions 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 Airports Authority of India will invest ₹ 400 million in 2018 for a brand new terminal building at Lohagaon which will be integrated into the existing one in order to ease air traffic while land is still being acquired for the new greenfield international airport at Purandar.
All the offices of the AAI and the Central Industrial Security Force 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 3,250m (10,662 feet) from the current length of 2,600m. After completion of the ongoing renovation work, the airport will be able to handle larger aircraft than currently possible. The Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt currently must stop to refuel due to payload constraints at Pune, arising out of the short runway. The flight departs from Pune Airport with partially filled fuel tanks and refuels again on the way. An Instrument Landing System (ILS) has also been proposed to ensure smooth takeoffs and landings even in deteriorated weather conditions.
Airlines and destinations
|AirAsia India||Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata|
|Air India||Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai|
|Alliance Air||Belgaum, Nashik|
|GoAir||Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Nagpur|
|IndiGo||Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna, Prayagraj|
|SpiceJet||Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Darbhanga, Delhi, Durgapur, Goa, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi|
There is a proposal of creating an international cargo facility from this airport. This project will enable foreign cargo operators to operate to Pune. Pune was declared as customs airport on 17 January 1997, primarily for exporting perishable agricultural products. This project will also help to attract of foreign airlines to operate to Pune. This 600 sqm terminal will be located adjacent to the new arrival terminal.
Extending Runway length
A plan for the extension of runway at Lohegaon airport still stuck over acquisition of a private plot on the airport's western side, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has now requested the Indian Air Force (IAF) to carry out the proposed expansion on the eastern side, on land owned by the air force. This project is very important for Pune city considering the growth in air traffic. Since the Purandar airport may take a few years to come up, the capacity of Lohegaon airport to handle traffic has to be increased. One of the major constraints the airport faces today is the short runway length. It has been proposed to extend the length of the runway to 10,662 feet or approx. 3250 meters. The extension of the runway is critical for the operation of widebody aircraft like Airbus A330 and Boeing 777, which carry more passengers compared to narrowbodies like Airbus 319s, 320s and Boeing 737s that currently operate from the airport.
A new terminal is being built up at the Eastern side of the current airport terminal the new terminal will be twice the size of the current terminal. The new terminal will at least have 5 Aero bridges and advanced technologies with duty free shops and food courts. The new under construction terminal is estimated to be completed till end of year 2020.
Proposal for new 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 has been proposed. The greenfield airport will be located near the villages of Ambodi, Sonori, Kumbharvalan, Ekhatpur-Munjawadi, Khanwadi, Pargaon Memane, Rajewadi, Aamble, Tekwadi, Vanpuri, Udachiwadi, Singapur near Saswad and Jejuri in Purandar taluka of Pune District in the Indian state of Maharashtra.  The proposed airport in Purandar will be spread over 2,400 hectares. This airport will also boost trade from Pune and neighbouring districts as it will have its own dedicated cargo terminal. MADC requested proposals from consultants to conduct techno-economic feasibility studies, assist in obtaining the required statutory approvals and provide project management services.
In August 2020 deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar told the Pune district administration to check the feasibility of developing the new Pune airport at an alternative site proposed by Purandar MLA Sanjay Jagtap. The MLA had proposed land acquisition at Pandeshwar, Rise and Pise villages, instead of the seven villages in Purandar taluka which have opposed land acquisition since the project was announced in October 2016. Total land acquisition cost is expected to be Rs4000 crore for the existing site. If the new site gets approved, land acquisition cost is likely to reduce.
Senior officials of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC) have said that shifting the site of the Purandar airport will lead to delay of more than two years in getting fresh approvals and carrying out surveys of the new site.
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 also operates airport shuttle to and fro from the city.
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Media related to Pune Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Pune Airport (Lohegaon) at Airports Authority of India
- 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