New Pune international airport project finally gathers pace

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has decided to conduct a techno-economic feasibility study (TEFS) and topographic survey of the site for the new greenfield international airport for Pune, located around 50 km north of the city, along National Highway 50.

The civil aviation ministry and the Maharashtra government have been talking about an international airport near Pune for almost 10 years now.

But developments picked up pace only after the heavy restrictions imposed on civilian operations at the present Pune airport by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The new site, near the Shiroli and Chandoos villages, is located between the Chakan and Rajgurunagar towns along the Pune-Nashik highway.

MIDC has appointed the Industrial Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and the Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (IDC) as project advisors for the proposed single-runway greenfield international airport.

Union minister for civil aviation Praful Patel last month asked the state government to initiate the process of land acquisition for the airport, which is expected to require about 3,000 acres.

The MIDC has invited expressions of interest (EOI) from private consultants.

The consultant's terms of reference includes assessment of connectivity, conceptual layout of the facilities at the airport, the preliminary design of airport components, planning, designing criteria, performance standards, project impact assessment and assessment of traffic demand.

The study would also include cost estimates, financial analyses and a development plan.

The topographic survey would be conducted for the finalisation of runway alignment. The airport site will see construction activity from 2011 onwards, if the land acquisition starts within a year.