While the Indian Air Force’s proposal of 16 acres to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for expansion of the Lohegaon airport has been approved, a proposal to acquire another 30 acres from Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) is underway. With a major revamp proposed for the existing airport in the way of increasing parking bays and even expansion of the terminals, this land has been sought.
“This is part of the master plan and talks are already underway between the petroleum ministry so that IOCL units can be shifted to about 3 acres and the remaining land can be acquired for expansion,” said district collector Saurabh Rao.
The present land is near Weikfield chowk and the same was discussed with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the master plan submitted on Lohegaon airport expansion, the collector said. The other proposal to acquire land from private builders within the 100 metre periphery of the airport would also be speeded up.
The road widening undertaken by Pune Municipal Corporation would be undertaken while the parallel DP Road from Sanjay Park would also be completed so that the entire area could be decongested in the process.
With several traffic jams in the area, the proposals would be undertaken on a war footing. The Indian Air Force had given 15 acres of additional land to AAI for the expansion of Lohegaon airport. With the footfall at Lohegaon airport increasing from 35 lakh to 55 lakh and due to increased flight movements, the expansion plans were mooted.