Venkaiah flags off maiden Singapore flight
The city entered the international aviation map as the maiden IndiGo Airbus A320 flight took off for Singapore from the airport at Gannavaram here on Tuesday
Vijayawada: The city entered the international aviation map as the maiden IndiGo Airbus A320 flight took off for Singapore from the airport at Gannavaram here on Tuesday.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu flagged off the inaugural flight in the presence of Union civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, minister of state for civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, AP finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and several other dignitaries.
Venkaiah Naidu said this is only a beginning and Vijayawada will have more international flights in the near future. Venkaiah Naidu, who also took part in ground breaking ceremony for the airport’s Integrated Terminal building at a cost of Rs.611 crore, said that commencement of international flights was a dream come true not only for him but for the people of the state.
He said that air connectivity played a vital role in the economic development of Andhra Pradesh and exuded confidence that Vijayawada-Singapore flight services will give big boost in promotion of business and tourism in the state. The new terminal building will reflect the glory of Telugu culture and blends the rural and urban background. It will be built in 35,000 square feet area and with modern facilities for the convenience of passengers.
Venkaiah Naidu said for the first time in the history of India that Rs 611 crore was sanctioned for construction of airport terminal by the government. He said more investment was made for construction of Airports in private sector but in the public sector it was the highest investment. He performed Bhumi Puja at the airport for construction of the terminal building.
Venkaiah Naidu said, “I hope aircraft should fly from Vijayawada to the US, Dubai, Europe, East Asian countries and other parts of the world.” He said road, water and air connectivity are very important for the development of the state and assured the people of Andhra Pradesh that he would render assistance to operate more flights from Vijayawada.
He praised the decision of the state government give Viability Gap Fund (VGF) to IndiGo Airlines saying that private airlines operate the flights with motive of earning profits and private operators don’t come forward if passenger traffic is less.
Union civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said 100 new airports will be developed in India with investment of 65 billion dollars in the coming years. He said the ministry of civil aviation would extend full co-operation to the Andhra Pradesh for the development of airports and aviation sector.
He said the Union government would announce Air Cargo policy very soon to export Indian agriculture products to other countries. He said farmers would be benefitted with the exports of wide variety of their produce and added that the Union cabinet gave a nod for the new cargo policy.
He said the Union government promotes co-operative federalism and help the State of Andhra Pradesh to develop infrastructure facilities. He wished Andhra Pradesh to be the most developed state in the country in future.
Finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been trying for a long time to operate international flights from Vijayawada and his dream was fulfilled on Tuesday. He thanked the Central government for sanctioning funds for the construction of integrated terminal at a cost of Rs 611 crore.
He hoped international airport would come in Mangalagiri in future. Minister Kollu Ravindra, MPs Kesineni Srinivas, Maganti Babu, Konakalla Narayana, Gokaraju Gangaraju, District collector B Lakshmikantham, Vijayawada Airport Director G Madhusudhana Rao and others attended the event. Later, the Vice-president and others flagged off the IndiGo flight from Vijayawada to Singapore at 6.40 p.m.