Renovated airport to function from May 15

Renovated airport to function from May 15
Highlights

Renovated airport to function from May 15. The Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram is gearing up to meet the increasing demand of capital region. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials are going ahead with development works in the existing terminal building for the convenience of passengers.

The Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram is gearing up to meet the increasing demand of capital region. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials are going ahead with development works in the existing terminal building for the convenience of passengers. The modified terminal building, which will have a capacity to accommodate more than 300 passengers, is likely to be commissioned by May 15.

It may be noted that AAI authorities are ready to expand the airport if the State Government allots 698 acres of land. The district officials conducted a meeting with farmers of Kesarapalli, Ajjampudi and Budhavaram several times and have failed to come to a consensus so far as the farmers are demanding market price and uniform price for the lands in all the villages. However the officials fixed separate price for lands in each village as per revenue records and market price.

The AAI authorties sanctioned Rs 103 crore for the new terminal building to meet the demands of international airport and to accommodate more than 700 passengers. Tenders are in process and it will take nearly two years to complete the project. Meanwhile the AAI authorities started renovating the existing old terminal building which currently accommodates about 50 passengers. Conveyor belts have been provided to carry luggage both at the arrival and departure blocks.

Airport director M Rajakishore said that the airport is getting ready to meet the demands of the capital region. He said that there was an increase in occupancy rate which stands at around 85 per cent from the previous 40 per cent after Vijayawada was named as the capital region. He added that there was over booking of Delhi flights though two flights are being operated from the airport daily.

He said over 400 passengers are using the airport daily. At present the Indian Airlines, Spice Jet and Air Costa are operating 23 services from the airport while Turbo Mega Airlines is also planning to introduce flights from the airport soon. He stressed the need for expansion of runway from present 7,500 feet to 14,500 feet to accommodate big flights.

The district officials also speeded up their efforts for land acquisition for the expansion of airport as Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is keen on developing the airport. As foreign teams including Singapore, Japan, China and other countries are going to play a key role in capital development, several teams representing the respective countries are frequently visiting Vijayawada.

Keeping in view the increasing importance of Vijayawada Airport, the AAI authorities speeded up the development works including beautification of the airport. As per the direction of Chief Minister the national highway authorities started planting saplings in road dividers from Airport to Vijayawada city as part of the beautification programme.

By PV Krishna Rao

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