Police take precautionary measures to ensure smooth passage of VIPs. For the local people living near the airport, it was a memorable day as they kept staring at the sky as and when they the heard of arrival of an aircraft.

The usual peaceful environs of Gannavaram airport near Vijayawada witnessed a flurry of activity on Sunday as flights began to land and take off to facilitate VVIPs to attend the swearing-in ceremony of TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, near Acharya Nagarjuna University. In all, as many as 17 flights, mostly private jets, touched down the airport since 9 a.m.

A galaxy of VVIPs, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Ministers from other States, top-notch businessmen, senior bureaucrats, politicians and film actors landed at the airport from different regions. They later headed to the swearing-in ceremony venue near Mangalagiri.

“We have never witnessed such flight movement since the inception of the airport. It’s really an encouraging development to transform the airport into an international airport,” said Airport Director B.G. Patil. The flights came from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The family members of NTR came in three private flights.

For the local people living near the airport, it was a memorable day as they kept staring at the sky as and when they the heard of arrival of an aircraft. “Never have we witnessed so many flights landing at Gannavaram on a single day,” the awe-struck locals said.

Krishna District Collector M. Raghunandan Rao, City Police Commissioner B. Srinivaslu and other senior officials coordinated with the airport officials to ensure safe landing of the flights. Arrangements were also made for the flights to take off at night. Police officials said necessary precautionary measures were taken to ensure smooth passage for the Central Ministers and other VIPs after coming out from the terminal to proceed towards the venue.

Airport officials said the Gannavaram airport served as an army base during the World War II and at that time defence aircraft were the ones taking off from here. Commercial air operations started only from the mid-70s catering to the needs of people since then, the officials explained.

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