The Ministry of Defence has issued consent to lease 2.5 acres of defence land to Pune International airport to construct a cargo terminal. It has also granted permission to commence the work at the airport located in Lohegaon.
In return for the lease, the Ministry of Defence will charge one rupee per year, according to the Minister of Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. He revealed the decision in a letter written to Pune Member of Parliament Girish Bapat.
“I would like to apprise you that ministry of defence has agreed to charge a nominal lease of Rs 1 per annum for the land parcel of 2.5 acres of land on which working permission has been granted, till the land of equal value is transferred to MoD in lieu of total land of Air Force required at Pune airport,” Minister stated in the letter written on February 15.
According to Scindia, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Defence are working hand-in-hand to resolve the issues at Pune airport.
The expansion plan for Pune airport has been in the pipeline for some time. In September 2021, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, revealed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has agreed to deliver additional land to Lohegaon airport for its expansion. Gadkari is also the Chairman of the infrastructure committee of the government of India.
Pune Airport Is a Major Hub for Covid Shield Vaccine Storage
Pune airport is a centre for stocks of Covid shield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The consignments of vaccines are stocked in the airport and are transported to Mumbai airport via road and before flying to various destinations across India. The new additional land will enhance the airport’s cargo facilities and would help increase the volume of vaccines transported.
Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) President Sudhir Mehta welcomed the decision of the Ministry of Defence in allotting land to Pune airport. He hopes that the decision will enhance the air connectivity of the region, improve the infrastructure, and facilitate building a state-of-the-art infrastructure at Lohegaon Airport.