India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has given site clearance for the construction of a new airport in Pune, the seventh-most populous city in the country.
Accepting the recommendations made by the steering committee on greenfield airports, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said he has granted site clearance approval to Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) for the new Pune international airport.
“Today, I have accorded site clearance to the new greenfield airport for Pune at Purandar,” he said.
“The existing airport has exhausted its capacity and this new airport will help us add more passenger flights and cargo operations to the vibrant city of Pune.”
The planned Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport will be spread across an area of 2,400 hectares and be capable of handling 20 million passengers per year.
In the meantime, the existing Pune Airport is being expanded to help meet demand. It comes after the number of departure seats has almost doubled over the past five years, from 2.35 million in 2013 to 4.58 million in 2017.
In 2017, the International Air Transport Association claimed that India is set to become the third largest aviation market one year earlier than originally expected. It projects the country will overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2025.
By 2036, India will have 478 million passengers per year, an increase of 337 million compared with 2016.