Lohegaon airport flying higher than Mumbai, Nagpur for domestic traffic
The Lohegaon international airport in Pune recorded the highest growth for domestic traffic in the state in 2018-19, according to the recently released economic survey of the state. Domestic passengers grew the most at Pune airport (21.2%), followed by Nagpur (16.7%) and Mumbai (6.5%)
Pune’s Lohegaon airport reported an increase in domestic passengers to 7.8 million in 2018-19 from 6.5 million in 2017-18. Nagpur saw 2.08 million passengers in 2018-19, compared to 1.7 million in 2017.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) recorded an 8.1% rise in international passenger traffic in 2018-19.
The international passenger traffic in Mumbai went up to 13.4 million in 2018-19, from 12.2 million in 2017-18. Pune recorded a 5.4% rise in international passengers – 2.71 lakh in 2018-19 from 2.57 lakh in 2017-18.
Nagpur saw a dip in the number of international passengers to 1.06 lakh in 2018-19 from 1.09 lakh in 2017.
In case of domestic passengers, the number at Mumbai’s airport went up to 34.8 million in 2018-19 from 32.7 million in 2017-18.
Aviation industry experts said the figures highlighted the need for one more airport in Mumbai and Pune. Sudhakar Reddy, president of Air Passengers Association of India (APAI), said, “Mumbai airport is saturated. Passenger growth is not possible until the Navi Mumbai airport is built.
“The Pune airport, too, is seeing passenger traffic from neighbouring places in the state.
“These places need another airport, but land acquisition process is leading to long delays.”
The report stated the first phase of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), which is estimated to cost ₹15,149 crore, will be operational this year. However, senior officials from City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) said levelling of land is in process. The report stated: “Phase-1 of the airport is expected to be commissioned by 2019, with an initial capacity of 10 million passengers per annum.”
According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), an aviation consultancy, the passenger growth at Mumbai’s CSMIA is slow. The year-on-year passenger growth rate dropped to 4% in 2019, compared to 31% in 2018. According to a vision document released by the ministry of civil aviation in January 2019, at least 31 cities in India will have two airports by 2040, while Delhi and Mumbai will need a third airport by then. The report, released at Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai, said most of the large Indian airports are expected to be saturated over the next 10-15 years.