THE proposed international airport at Purandar has finally received the much-awaited No-objection Certificate (NoC) from the Indian Air Force (IAF), but with certain conditions attached. It has also received the subsequent clearance from the Ministry of Defence.
Among the conditions in the clearance letter, addressed to the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), is one stipulating that all civil flights should be shifted from the Lohegaon airport to the Purandar Aerodrome, once the latter becomes operational.
Despite the completion of several procedural formalities, work on the new airport could not start without the NoC from the Air Force. Member of Parliament from Pune, Anil Shirole, said, “The Defence Ministry on Tuesday gave the NoC for the proposed international airport at Purandar. The letter in this regard has been sent to the MADC.”
The letter from the MoD stated, “The Air HQ (IAF headquarters) has no objection for development of Greenfield Airport at Purandar, Pune, by MADC subject to following conditions: The Air Traffic Service route W-28 to be relocated outside Local Flying Area of Pune. Approach control service based on radar will be continued to be provided by IAF (Pune Air Traffic Control). Aerodrome Control Service may be provided by AAI at Purandar.”
The letter added, “No further requirement of additional airspace should be projected by the AAI or MADC in future. Flying operations at National Defence Academy to continue till 7000’ (feet). Independent Parallel operations may be undertaken from Pune and Purandar Airports, based on mutually agreed Standard Operation Procedures or Memorandums of Understanding between IAF and AAI. All civil scheduled or non-scheduled flights should be shifted to Purandar Aerodrome after its operationalisation.”
Earlier, the IAF had objected to the location and alignment of the runway of the proposed airport, over concerns that it would affect the functionality of the Air Force base at Lohegaon. It had said that the new runway should be exactly parallel to the Lohegaon airport runway. Later, it said an angular variation of 15 degrees could be accommodated.