Pune airport: it’s too close to Mumbai and needs an upgrade

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It’s my strong belief that an economy can only be successful if the basics are ‘fixed’. These basics are: access to educated people, stable politics, an excellent climate and – -very crucial – first class transportation. In Pune there are, of course, many very smart people, given the fact that the various universities and colleges turn out thousands of graduates every year. From a political perspective Pune lies in a strategic area, although bureaucracy could  impede some enterprises to nurture or even commence. The weather is sometimes challenging, as summers can be very hot. However, if you compare it to the economic superpower Mumbai, the climate is much more pleasing. Then, finally, the transportation. Very upbeat Pune is a strong distribution hub, that caters to neighbouring cities and the ‘rest’ of Maharashtra,  a growing economic superpower itself and with more than 110 million citizens, one of the most jam-packed states in India. At first sight, you would probably argue that the traffic jams are very stressful, but when you contrast these with Bangalore and Mumbai they are not dreadful at all. Pune also has an airport, with direct flights to various cities in India. This week I went on a business trip to Hyderabad and it was my first departure from Pune airport. Easy access to India’s super cities is of course very attractive, but the airport lacks some high quality (basic) facilities. The entrance, the services and the frustrating security process – I had a digital board pass but they would not let me in without a printed one – needs a major upgrade. This is what I expect from a very local Indian airport, with propeller aircrafts, not from the future economic super city to be Pune! I’m sure that the local airport authorities have plans for a major upgrade, but they also face a huge dilemma. Neighbouring Mumbai has one of the largest and modern airports of the Subcontinent. Why should you even consider to use Pune airport when there is such a major airport nearby? The trip to Hyderabad went very well from an airport perspective; the recently built airport has everything that Pune lacks: good shops and restaurants, a very pleasant security process, clean toilets, various areas where you can work and – most importantly – very very good -Barista’s, for the best cappuccino in town! Could you also make it happen in Pune? I will be your first and most happy customer! Is anybody listening!

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