The New Pune Airport is a proposed greenfield airport project to serve the city of Pune, India. It will be named Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport and will be built near Saswad and Jejuri in Purandar taluka of Pune District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The proposed airport will be spread over 2,400 hectares. The Government of Maharashtra has declared that the first flight from this airport is expected to take off by 2019 and the airport will be named after the King of Maratha Empire, SambhajiMaharaj who was born at Purandar fort. The CIDCO will hold 51 per cent stake in the SPV, while MADC’s stake will be around 19 per cent. The remaining 30 per cent will be divided between the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). The Airports Authority of India conducted surveys on various areas near Pune for a new airport for the city. Initially a site near Chakan was fixed for the airport. But due to opposition from local farmers and the mountainous terrain, the government decided to set the new airport in Purandar taluka as it was a flatter region compared to Chakan. This airport will also boost trade from Pune and neighbouring districts as it will have its own dedicated cargo terminal.
Lohagaon air force station serves as an international airport for the city. Due to restricted traffic, only two to four international flights can operate from the airport. Moreover, it is an Air Force base and has a single civil terminal which operates both international as well as domestic traffic.
Almost 65 to 70 flights operate connecting major domestic destinations. This is crowding the existing airport and leading to delay of flights as the airport has only eight parking bays out of which one is used for VIP’s and other is used for charter operations and the remaining carry the load of international as well as domestic flights. Hence, this led to the need for a dedicated international airport for the city as the city is one of the fastest-growing cities in India and is included in the Smart City program of the Indian government. However, until completion of the new airport, the existing airport will be expanded.
The project site is located near the villages of Ambodi, Sonori, Kumbharvalan, Ekhatpur-Munjawadi, Khanwadi, Pargaon Memane, Rajewadi, Aamble, Tekwadi, Vanpuri, Udachiwadi, Singapur. Rajewadi railway station on the Pune–Miraj–Lonand line is nearest to the site. The proposed airport will be connected with six different routes including national highways48 and 65. There will also be a special ring-road connecting major industrial establishments with the proposed airport from Hadapsar.
The farmers in these villages are against the project due to concerns of land loss. Since it was announced that the proposed Pune international airport would come up in Purandar Taluka, local villagers and landowners have been up in arms in protest. Several attempts made by the government and district administration have failed to pacify the agitated landowners. On 26 December 2016, after a lull, thousands of villagers from six villages in Purandar blocked the Pune-Pandharpur Road for nearly two hours, in protest against the new airport.