Pune and Patna: India’s Most Dangerous Airports

The TOI has an article in today’s edition about the lack of safety standards at Indian airports.

With an additional 12,000 flights this year compared with 2006, the rise in the number of skids and incidents is not surprising. The Sao Paulo tragedy has raised the question: how safe are Indian runways?

The consensus in the aviation industry is that the two most unsafe airports in the country are those at Pune and Patna. However, it’s not as if the rest are up to standard.

The fact is that most of India’s 200-plus airports have landing strips that fall short of the 9000-foot safety benchmark. During the dry months, this does not really make a difference – after all, thousands of flights arrive safely every day – but come the thundershowers and suddenly the lack of inches is acutely felt. [link]

While I have never landed in Pune, I have once in Patna. It was a long time ago in 1996, and the only thing I remember was that the airport was spectacularly boring from what I could see.

My vote for the weirdest airport in India would go to Nagpur hands down. Infact I am surprised that the airport was so bad, because Nagpur is a prominent city in Central India.

A lot of issues make airports unsafe. However the one big issue is length of runways. Its surprising that a lot of Indian airports do not have runways that are at least 9000′ feet as per safety norms. In recent years Indian aviation has taken off literally and therefore its all the more surprising that infrastructure has not kept pace. Privatisation could be one answer, but the government has dragged its feet on the issue for years before offering some leeway on this accord with the airports in Bombay and Delhi.

Which airport according to you is the scariest one in India ?