September 26, 2017 8:08:10 am
PUNE Airport may soon become a ‘silent airport’, putting an end to routine flight announcements such as boarding calls, and making passengers rely on digital display boards for information about their flights.
A proposal to turn Pune airport into a silent one has been sent by the administration to Airports Authority of India’s (AAI’s) Mumbai-based Western Region headquarter. A senior AAI officer said the proposal has already been discussed with airline officials, and it has been sent to Mumbai for final approval.
The decision has been taken to curb the increasing levels of noise pollution, due to the rise in both air traffic and passenger footfall. Already, airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai have gone silent.
In a letter to the Western Region Headquarters in June 2017, Airport Director Ajay Kumar had written, “Presently, the noise pollution levels at Pune Airport are high due to airlines using the public address systems to inform the passengers about the flight information. After discussing with the airline representatives, it was agreed that to save everyone from the peril of noise pollution, it would be a great step to make Pune Airport a ‘silent airport’. This means that the routine announcements will be stopped and only those announcements that pertain to change of gates or emergency situations will be made using the PAS”.
Dhairyasheel Vandekar, a city-based aviation expert, welcomed the proposal but expressed doubts about its chances of success due to the “physical and infrastructural constraints at Pune Airport”. “This move can be effectively implemented at bigger airports where are there are enough display boards and no space crunch. At Pune Airport, one can’t rely on the digital display boards completely, especially during the rush hours. ours is a civil enclave and part of the Air Force base… it has many constraints, especially at the existing terminal building. I have no doubt that there will be many occasions when the airlines will have to resort to making announcements…,” said Vandekar.
Pratiek Nair, a resident of Pashan, said, “These days, people don’t rely on the audio announcements. They follow the signs and digital display of information and can do without the public address system. Anyway, Pune Airport is too crowded and noisy. If it goes silent, then it would be a relief.”
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