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India to build second airport in Pune

The Indian government has given clearance for the construction of a new international airport in Pune.

Located in the western state of Maharashtra, the Chatrapati Sambhaji Raje International airport will be the city's second.

In a statement, the civil aviation ministry says it will ensure that the existing Pune airport will remain open for civil use.

The Pune airport is built on land owned by the ministry of defence, but operated by the Airports Authority of India.

Data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation shows that passenger traffic at Pune airport grew 20.6% to 8.16 million in fiscal 2017-18, compared with the previous year.

The state-owned Mahashtra Airport Development Company will oversee the construction of the new Chatrapati Sambhaji Raje International airport.

Local media reports say the cost of construction is expected to reach Rs140 billion ($2.08 billion) and that the facility could be operational by 2020 with an annual passenger capacity of 20 million.

"The existing airport [at Pune] has exhausted its capacity and this new airport will help us add more passenger flights and cargo operations," says Suresh Prabhu, India's minister of commerce and industry and civil aviation in a tweet.

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that Pune airport predominately connects to domestic points, with low-cost carrier IndiGo being the largest operator in terms of ASKs. The airport's thickest connection is to Delhi, with over 40% of capacity placed on the segment. Its only international points are Bucharest, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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