Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s office has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) requesting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi lay the foundation stone, possibly virtually, for the new airport construction during his visit to port city Visakhapatnam on 12 November.
But the PMO has not included it in Modi’s itinerary, official sources said.
GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport Limited (GVIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Limited (GAL), is developing a Greenfield International Airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.
This Airport Project is based on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.
GVIAL would develop the Airport in stages. Initially the airport will be built to service six million passengers per annum and it will be scaled up based on passenger traffic growth. The Airport will offer services catering to domestic and international travel besides cargo.
The proposed GreenField airport site is approximately 45 km from Visakhapatnam through NH-16 (Old NH-5) and 25 km from Vizianagaram via NH-43. The site is strategically located on the east coast and stands to get benefitted from the vast catchment area surrounding the region.
The existing airport in Visakhapatnam is owned by the Indian Navy.
So the development of an international airport for Visakhapatnam at Bhogapuram was first mooted by Chandrababu Naidu government in 2014 after state bifurcation.
Former CM Chandrababu Naidu planned an aerotropolis at Bhogapuram that would include aviation-linked manufacturing units, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility, research and development centre and test laboratories, multi-modal logistics, exhibition and conference centres, leisure and entertainment facilities, aviation education and training facilities.
However, the present state government led by CM YS Jagan dropped the other components of the plan and only the international airport would now be developed.
Consequently, the state government decided to retain 500 of the total 2,703 acres of land acquired for the aerotropolis, and hand over only 2,203 acres to GMR for development of the greenfield international airport.
Also, the Andhra Pradesh government had proposed the construction of a beach road connecting the Visakhapatnam port container terminal with the National Highway (NH)-16 at Bhogapuram via Rushikonda and Bheemunipatnam.
In July this year, Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, stated in the Rajya Sabha that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the six-lane beach road corridor project between Visakhapatnam and Bhogapuram is currently being prepared.
(With inputs from PTI)
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