At Pune’s Lohegaon airport, departures still outdoing arrivals
On May 25, when air traffic was allowed to resume in the country, as many as 2,500 domestic passengers flew out from Pune’s Lohegaon international airport. That figure touched 7,500 passengers on September 25.
The latest figures released by airport authorities show that 2,61,320 passengers have arrived in the city between May 25 and September 25.
However, 2,82,847 passengers departed from the city during the same period.
According to the Lohegaon Airport authorities, on September 25, the airport recorded its highest footfall in terms of passengers in four months, to and fro, a total of 7,500.
“There has been an increase in the number of flights from Pune and also the number of passengers flying have increased during the last four months,” said Kuldeep Singh, director, Lohegaon Airport.
Dhairyasheel Vandekar, an aviation analyst, said, “The central government is taking strong steps to ensure strict implementation of Covid-19 travel guidelines. Traveller numbers this year will increase gradually. At least air traffic has increased after the reopening and this figure is likely to up in the next few months.”
According to Lohegaon airport authorities, from October 26, the runaway will be available for 12 hours only due to re-carpeting of the surface. The airport authorities say they have already intimated airline managements about the change in timings which will be in place for at least 20 days.
Mihika Sethia, an IT professional and frequent flyer based in Pune, said, “Covid-19 is there, but I have to travel to meet my ailing parents who stay in Delhi. I will remain in quarantine as advised by the airline authorities and the health department,” she said.
Work on new 1,000-car parking lot gets underway
Lohegaon Airport authorities have embarked on an ambitious parking facility project, aimed at increasing the parking capacity by four times the current number.
The Rs 120-crore project will accommodate 1,000 cars compared to the current capacity of 250 and is spread over 9000 square feet. Work is expected to be completed by April 2022.
Kuldeep Singh, director, Lohegaon airport, said that the new parking facility was being constructed taking into account the future needs of the airport and the number of passengers flying in. “Currently, there is adequate parking for passengers at the airport, but new arrangements are being made to address future requirements,” Singh said.
Currently, drivers are billed Rs 300 as parking charges for 24 hours at the airport.