After 6 years and 8 site surveys, airport plan finally took off

Pune

After six years and eight site suveys for the Pune international airport by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the district administration , the final site was cleared by the Prime Minister in November this year. The site was finalised at the Khed Special Economic Zone, 45 kms from the city.

With the state government giving it clearance, the MADC is now waiting for formal orders. "It has been cleared and we are awaiting for the formal orders from the state government so that we can start the project,'' said Tanaji Satre, MADC vice-chairman and managing director. The MADC has also committed that if all the clearances are processed in a proper time frame, the airport can be readied in the next five years.

Give the current air traffic, the urgency of a Green Field Airport was the need and the Pune International Airport Project would be managed by the Airports Authority of India. However, there are approvals which need to be cleared from officials, including clearances from the ministries of civil aviation, environment, defence and home affairs, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Indian Meteorological Department.

"Post approval, MADC will appointment consultant, who will ready a techno-economic feasibility report, assist in project documentation, run the bid process and assist in contract negotiations and concession agreement,'' said the MADC officials.

The Khed SEZ site, developed by the M/S Khed Economic Infrastructure Private Limited, is approachable by road from Rajgurunagar via Pabal-Shikrapur road. "Power and water supply can be availed from the SEZ," said district officials on the project.

The land acquisition for the airport is 65 per cent complete and there will be minimum displacement of

villagers.

"The obstacle-free land at the approach and take-off path, a large portion of acquired land for SEZ and the area meeting optimum airport requirements with two independent parallel runway operations made it a very feasible option,'' said the officials.

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