Rajahmundry gearing up for big planes by 2018

Rajahmundry Airport Director M. Raj Kishore (right) addressing an interactive meeting in Vijayawada on Saturday.— PHOTO: V RAJU

Rajahmundry Airport Director M. Raj Kishore (right) addressing an interactive meeting in Vijayawada on Saturday.— PHOTO: V RAJU  

Wide-bodied aircraft will earn additional revenue, says Director Raj Kishore

The Rajahmundry airport is poised for rapid expansion at a cost of nearly Rs. 182 crore. The runway, now measuring 1,750 metres, will be extended to 3,165 metres.

Once the expansion is completed, the airport can handle Airbus A 320 and 321 and Boeing 737-900 aircraft, said Airport Director M. Raj Kishore.

Addressing the media at the A.P. Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation (APCCIF) here on Saturday, Mr. Kishore said the airport was now handling only ATR 72 and Q-400 planes which could accommodate up to 75 passengers due to the short runway and other infrastructure constraints.

The resurfacing of the airstrip, with a 21-month deadline, was started last month.

A total of 857 acres required for the expansion had been acquired by the East Godavari district administration. The present area covers 366 acres. The expansion work is being done by RK Infra Private Limited.

Mr. Raj Kishore said with belly cargo facility, the wide-bodied aircraft would earn additional revenue for the airport. A large quantity of agricultural produce could be transported by big planes.

The airport was recently given the clearance for night landing facility. The customs airport is used by foreigners frequenting the oil and gas installations in the nearby K-G basin. The airport currently operates flights to Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad by Jet Airways, Spice Jet and TruJet. The number of arrivals and departures per day stands at eight each. The airport is also used by the ONGC helicopters everyday and occasionally by choppers of the Reliance Industries.

NRI patronage expected

“There is a good demand for establishing connectivity to some Middle-East [West Asia] and Southeast Asian countries from a large number of NRIs from the Godavari districts settled there. We will be soon well-equipped for that in terms of infrastructure but the feasibility of international flights is to be examined,” Mr. Raj Kishore said.

Three new parking bays are under construction while the viability of leasing out hangar space for companies offering limited-scale MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services was being studied, Mr. Kishore added.

APCCIF president M. Murali Krishna and general secretary P. Bhaskar Rao were present.

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