The center has finally given the much awaited nod. Andhra Pradesh will soon have three new airports, including an international airport in Bhogapuram near the port city of Vishakhapatnam, along with two other brand new domestic airports in Nellore and Kurnool.
There will be a complete change in the scenario for the new bifurcated Andhra, which will soon function independently with its own in house international airport set to come up at Bhogapuram. This means zero dependency on the Shamshabad airport in Hyderabad.
This apart, the two cities cleared for new airports by the civil aviation ministry in Andhra Pradesh are Dagadarthi in Nellore district and Orvakallu in Kurnool. The state already has five domestic airports. Given the surging traffic with air passengers in the state, these two domestic airports are nothing but a welcome wagon of convenience.
The International airport at Bhogapuram will be developed by the state government in a public private partnership or PPP at an estimated cost of Rs. 2200 crore and will cater to 6.3 million passengers a year initially, the government said.The other two airports in Andhra Pradesh will be developed as domestic no-frills airports at an estimated cost of Rs. 88 crores each.
All the three airports cleared are greenfield airports, which means they will be built right from scratch, starting with identifying the land. Together, they will cost Rs. 2,376 crore to build, the ministry said.
The Center has recently announced a regional connectivity scheme to encourage flying and link more sectors by air under its new civil aviation policy, which provides incentives to airlines and airports, while capping fare at Rs. 2,500 for one-hour flights.