Summer Travel Chaos: Pune Airport’s New Terminal Still Inoperative

Summer Travel Chaos: Pune Airport's New Terminal Still Inoperative

Summer Travel Chaos: Pune Airport's New Terminal Still Inoperative

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Frequent flyers call for action as the new terminal lags behind; AAI Pune sets course for renovation amidst passenger surge.

15 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

The new terminal building of Pune airport remains non-operational more than two months following its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This has called for swift action from frequent flyers amidst the bustling summer travel season. Despite clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BICAS) and ongoing testing procedures for some aircrafts, the new terminal’s functionality remains pending.

An estimated 16 flights each from ‘Air India’ and ‘Air India Express’ currently traverse through Pune airport daily, totaling to 32 aircrafts which are expected to utilise the new terminal upon its activation. 

@avishek_g, an X user, tweeted, “Still it’s a question as to why the final technicalities are not completed. It’s already delayed.” Frequent flyers have been laying emphasis on the necessity for immediate commencement of operations at the new terminal, particularly amidst the surge in passenger traffic during summer vacations. 

In response to the situation, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) Pune has devised plans for the renovation of the old terminal building, aiming to address operational needs while awaiting the activation of the new terminal. With a budget allocation of ₹25 crore sanctioned for the renovation project, expected to commence in June, significant enhancements are set to be implemented.

An airport officer affirmed the progress, stating, “We had given the proposal for redevelopment, and its budget allocation of ₹25 crore has been sanctioned. The actual work of redevelopment will start by June, and most probably, operations of the new terminal will also start accordingly.”

The renovation plans for the old terminal include the conversion of the circulating area at the arrival gate into an additional departure area, alongside transforming the first floor into a new security hold area. Furthermore, enhancements include the addition of 16 new check-in counters and five baggage scanning machines to accommodate passenger flow efficiently.