Pune airport was recently awarded with the World’s Third Best Airport for customer experience in the 5-15 million passengers per year category at the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards 2017, announced by the Airports Council International (ACI).
Pune airport is also vying for ‘International airport’ status from the Ministry of Civil Aviation by 2019.
“Pune is getting new direct international flights from 1st December to Singapore by Jet airways,” said an official tweet by Pune airport authorities.
Yet, on the ground the story is quite different and regular flyers have several pain points that need to be addressed before Pune airport can be called truly world class.
Ravish Premani, Company Secretary: I wonder how Pune airport has been receiving awards in the category of passenger amenities. Pune airport has all the problems that passengers travelling can encounter.
Considering the rising traffic at the Pune airport, neither is there enough space available for passengers to sit post the security check, nor are their enough boarding gates to ease the congestion at the airport.
Brijesh Dixit, a Vimannagar resident: During the peak hours in the morning and evening, the area outside the terminal building at the Pune airport is no less than a crowded railway junction, where there is absolute mismanagement of the traffic.
There are no officials of the airport to direct the traffic and queues to enter the building. Unfortunately, often CISF officials deployed on duty have to ease the crowds, despite their actual job being to handle the security at the airport.
Increasing the security manpower won’t work if we are short of infrastructure. Ideally, they should look on manning and handling the current traffic with ease before allowing international flights to operate.
Pratik Jainabadkar, Chartered accountant: Currently, Pune airport handles over 180 flight operations in one single day.
Considering such a huge number of flight operations in a day, Pune airport lacks in many facilities.
The most basic services which immediately should be provided are the aerobridges. More than 80 per cent of the time, passengers have to walk to the aircraft after exiting the boarding gate.
Suchitra Mohan Pal, a Public Relation Officer: Like most other development related issues in the city, the infrastructure at the Pune airport is only being upgraded to handle the current increased footfalls.
The number of passengers will only increase in the future. The limited number of scanners, security check gates and inappropriate waiting space causes a lot of chaos.
Passengers who are stuck in long queues and have a flight to board in a couple of minutes have to be given priority and this further creates tension between passengers.
Just reaching a couple of hours early won’t solve the problem, specially for early morning and evening flights given the rush and long queues.
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