A large stretch of land is available at Bhogapuram, which is also close to district headquarters of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. V. Kishore Chandra Deo, Union Minister

After Nasscom vice-president Rajiv Vaishnav called for promoting the USP of Visakhapatnam to enhance its brand value to make it a financial and industrial hub, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj V. Kishore Chandra Deo has mooted developing a Greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram, about 50 km from here.

As the INS Dega Airport in the city comes under the control of Navy, there has been talk of constructing another airport to meet the increasing need. In the post-bifurcation phase, Nasscom has called for exploring opportunities for industrial corridor proposed between Visakhapatnam and Chennai and increase the brand value of the city from tier-two to an international city.

During a chat with The Hindu, Mr. Deo said on Tuesday that a large stretch of land is available at Bhogapuram, which is also close to district headquarters of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. INS Dega Airport presently has flights to Dubai and Singapore and there are proposals to link it to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Colombo.

Experts say the existing airport despite its upgradation into an international airport may not take the traffic load in future. New airport proposals were shot down earlier after considering sites at Atchutapuram and S. Rayavaram.

S. Rayavaram did not find favour after an experts’ committee headed by Capt. S.N. Reddy found that it might face problems due to location of turbines and towers of a power plant coming up in the area. Atchutapuram proposal also did not take-off due to objections on technical grounds by the Navy. Naval Alternate Operation Base and second base of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre are coming up in the vicinity.

In view of Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) being developed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada with projected investment of Rs.3.43 lakh crore and the talk of industrial corridor from Visakhapatnam to Chennai, the area is in need of a Greenfield international airport, Mr. Deo said.

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