The expansion works at Gannavaram airport is likely to commence shortly, with the elected representatives from the region planning to transform it into an international airport within three years.
The representatives led by Vijayawada MP-elect Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) will take up the issue with Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju during the forthcoming Parliament session. “We will apprise the Union Minister of the urgent need for an international airport near Vijayawada. We will discuss all the possibilities of developing Gannavaram airport on international standards during the upcoming meeting in New Delhi,” Mr. Nani said.
Participating in a review meeting held on the premises of the airport here on Monday, Mr. Nani gathered information pertaining to land required for expansion of the runway and construction of a terminal along with aerodromes for the convenience of passengers coming from foreign countries.
“We will take up the matter with the new government in Andhra Pradesh on priority basis after getting the nod from the Civil Aviation Ministry,” he said.
Airport Director B.G. Patil said plans had been drawn up to widen the existing 7,500-feet-long runway to 10, 500 feet to facilitate landing of international flights easily. “We prepared proposals for constructing a terminal building with three aerodromes and escalators for the convenience of 500 domestic and 200 international travellers,” he said.
The airport requires an additional 470 acres of land to successfully implement the expansion plans. “We can expedite works if the elected representatives from the region take up the matter with officials concerned,” he said. At present, Air Costa, Spicejet and Air India are operating from here, and within a few months, two more firms are expected to commence operations.