AP speeds up land acquisition for Vijayawada airport expansion

PTI Hyderabad | Updated on April 13, 2011

Four years after inking a MoU with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for expansion and development of the Vijayawada airport at Gannavaram, the Andhra Pradesh Government has now finally decided to hasten the process of acquiring required land for the purpose.

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, approved the land acquisition proposals and directed the State Finance Department to release Rs 76 crore required for the purpose, official sources in the CMO said.

The Vijayawada airport expansion has been hanging fire for the last four years as the State Government failed to acquire the required 361 acres of land to expand the runway.

The airport, which is currently spread over 350 acres with an old terminal building, is handling only ATR-make aircraft with daily flights operated to Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.

The expansion plan includes extension of the existing runway to enable landing of bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus.

According to the MoU signed between the State Government and the AAI in 2007, the Vijayawada airport expansion works, including construction of a modern passenger terminal building and hangars, should have been completed by 2009 but the inordinate delay in acquiring land has thrown the plans awry.

Expansion works were estimated to cost Rs 200 crore, official sources said.

While Kingfisher was the only airline that operated flights from Vijayawada so far, Jet Airways too launched its services this month while SpiceJet is expected to begin operations from July. Air India too has plans to operate flights to New Delhi and other destinations via Hyderabad, official sources said.

Published on April 13, 2011

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