Union minister Nitin Gadkari today asked defence and civil aviation officials to expedite necessary clearances for expansion of the Pune airport which is witnessing high traffic volumes. The road transport and highways minister was chairing a Prime Minister-appointed infrastructure group meeting. The expansion project includes construction of a new terminal building at a cost of Rs 500 crore, a multilevel car parking for Rs 120 crore and a new cargo complex at a cost of about Rs 300 crore. “Air traffic from Pune has grown substantially and there is an urgent need to expand the airport. I have directed the concerned civil aviation and defence officials to immediately provide necessary clearances for its expansion,” Gadkari told PTI after the meeting. Traffic at Pune airport has doubled in the last three years to about 8.2 million passengers per annum. The meeting was attended by Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and Power Minister R K Singh, besides airport and defence officials. Gadkari said there is need for expansion of the airport in view of increasing air traffic.
Maharashtra’s Food, Civil Supplies and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat, who was also present in the meeting, said if approvals are granted, work on expansion of the airport will be initiated within three months. “We will start work on war footing on getting clearances. We will start work within three months,” he said. Pune Airport Director Ajay Kumar said, “The present annual traffic at Pune airport has doubled to 8.2 million during the last three years. There will be an annual growth rate of 20 per cent.”
“We are going to construct a terminal building of Rs 500 crore. We are also building a multilevel car parking at a cost of about Rs 120 crore and tender has already been floated. Bids will be opened in February end. 1,000 cars can be parked there. This is based on PPP model,” Kumar said. Kumar added that a new cargo complex is needed and the authority has requested the Defence Ministry for permission for using additional land. Kumar said the state government has to transfer 15 acres of alternate land to defence and 10 acres to the Airport Authority. Bapat said the matter of land transfer between the Airport Authority of India and defence has already been sent for Cabinet nod.