The Centre has given its in-principle approval for three new airports in Andhra Pradesh including one in the coastal district of Vizianagaram, which also is the constituency of the Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
The steering committee on Greenfield airports, headed by the Civil Aviation secretary, had recommended clearance for three projects including one in Bhogapuram, in Vizianagaram district, one at Dagadarthi (Nellore) and one at Orvakallu (Kurnool).
The new international airport at Bhogapuram will be developed by the state government under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode at an estimated cost of Rs.2,200 Crore, to cater to 6.3 million passengers annually in the initial phase. The Bhogapuram airport, about 40 km north-east of Visakhapatnam, will come up in a 5,311 acre land. The airport will be built by the Bhogapuram International Airport Company Limited (BIACL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) owned by the government.
The other two airports will be developed as domestic, no-frills airports with an estimated cost of Rs.88 crores each. Dagadarthi will be developed under PPP mode whereas project at Orvakallu will be developed by the state government itself.
The steering committee also recommended site clearance for the new Greenfield airport project at Kothagudem in Telangana. With this, Telangana will get a second greenfield airport besides the already existing Hyderabad international airport.
These clearances will enhance the aviation infrastructure facilities in the newly created states of Telangana and AP, while also boosting the regional connectivity scheme announced recently by the central government.