The 14-day closure of Pune airport began on Thursday morning. It has been closed due to runway resurfacing work being undertaken by the Indian Air Force (IAF). According to the airport officials, the decision was taken after receiving a communication from the IAF.
All commercial flights operating from the airport will remain suspended from October 16 to 29 due to the closure.
The aerodrome is part of the IAF’s airbase at Lohegaon. The runway maintenance work was earlier proposed to be undertaken in April, but was postponed and will now be carried out later this month.
This is the second shut down within a span of 13 years.
The travellers were shocked by the announcement, which they said was made at a very short notice. Many of them had planned to fly as the festive season has begun.
The existing airport at Lohegaon is owned by the IAF. It said that shutting down the airstrip was “inescapable” as the condition of the runway is rapidly deteriorating and it needs re-carpeting.
Meanwhile, a greenfield airport was inaugurated by the Centre in Sindhudurg on the same day the IAF made announcement about closure of the existing airport.
Operationalisation of the airport at Chipi in Sindhudurg has opened the horizon of additional connectivity of costal Maharashtra with other cities, directly connected with bigger places like Pune.