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Nellore airport work to kick-start from August

Nellore airport work to kick-start from August
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The auspicious hours seem to have arrived for Nellore greenfield airport. The ground-breaking ceremony for the much-awaited airport is likely to take...

Nellore: The auspicious hours seem to have arrived for Nellore greenfield airport. The ground-breaking ceremony for the much-awaited airport is likely to take place in the first week of August.

The state government has already signed the concession agreement with the developer - SCL-Turbo which has formed a consortium - Nellore International Airport Private Limited for construction of the airport.

The date for ground-breaking ceremony would be finalised whenever Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu gives time. The project works are likely to begin in January next year and the developer is planning to complete the project by 2020. As envisaged, the domestic airport is expected to get business from cargo transport since the region is known for industries.

Hence, Nellore International Airport Private Limited is also planning a cargo hub to benefit from the huge demand from local industries and also from nearby cities like Chennai.

As per the concession agreement, a revenue share of 9 pc will be allowed to the government. The consortium has tied up with a French airport operator for operations and maintenance and it will have capacity to handle up to 2 million passengers a year and handle 55,000 tonnes of cargo.

Tirupati’s main source is cargo rather than passenger traffic. But, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry airports are witnessing encouraging growth in both passenger and cargo traffic. The Airports Authority of India also anticipated a huge potential service and industry sectors in Nellore district which are flourishing.

Another factor that would work in airport’s favour is that the national highway is close to the airport and Nellore city only 30 km away from where rail connectivity is available. The Nellore airport might dip into the cargo business of Tirupati.

“Chennai seaport, Chennai and Tirupati airports are facing severe pressure with huge cargo traffic and possibly some traffic would be diverted to Dagadarthi because Nellore is close to both the cities. There will, therefore, be good future to the domestic airport in the district,” said a senior official connected to the project.

The Dagadarthi airport will be a low-cost, no-frills airport being developed on public-private-partnership (PPP) basis and it will come up in an area of 1,352 acres at a cost of Rs 368 crore. The airport will have a 3,150-metre long runway to handle category 4E wide body passenger flights, and cargo aircraft, the official said.

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