With three international airports — Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada (Gannavaram) and Tirupati — Andhra Pradesh is well connected to all major cities in India and to some foreign destinations also. Now, the State government’s plan to construct three greenfield airports at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district, Dagadarthi in Nellore and Orvakal in Kurnool district is set to play a major role in transforming the State into a logistics hub coupled with the development of seaports and rail and highways.
On top of the AP Airports Development Corporation Limited (APADCL)’s agenda is the construction of the Bhogapuram airport, which is just about 50 km from Visakhapatnam, which is a customs airport and also a civil enclave in the historic Naval air station INS Dega.
These international airports are operated by the Airports Authority of India. Besides, Andhra Pradesh has airports at Rajahmundry and Kadapa. The international and domestic airports have given the State the much-needed air connectivity as it aspires to become a destination for investors as well as tourists.
The small airports got a fillip as more flights started to be operated from there a few years ago due to the emphasis laid by the Central government on enhancing the regional aviation market under UDAN (Ude Deshka Aam Nagrik) scheme. The Vijayawada (Gannavaram) airport had served as an Army base during World War II, after which it was converted into a civilian airport.
Currently, the Visakhapatnam airport has the largest number of passenger footfalls and with the Andhra Pradesh High Court clearing the decks for Bhogapuram airport, which was stuck in land acquisition problems, the stage is set for a major step in the State’s aviation sector. The government is in the process of raising funds for the development of the airports with due support from the Centre.
Also, the State has got a piece of good news recently, that the Tirupati airport has been identified by the Ministry of Civil Aviation as a hub for Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul of aircraft. Efforts are on to get the airlines to introduce flights to new global destinations in the coming years.
Andhra Pradesh has three international airports and the State government has lined up a few other regional airports for development under the UDAN scheme being implemented by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to give a boost to small airports across the country.