The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday signed a concession agreement with SCL-Turbo consortium for the development of a greenfield airport in Dagadarthi, in Nellore district.
The MD of the consortium, Nellore International Airport Private limited (NIAL), Vankayapati Umesh signed an agreement with energy, infrastructure and investments, principal secretary Ajay Jain and Andhra Pradesh Airport Development Corporation (APADCL) MD M Venkateswarlu.
The Dagadarthi airport is expected to be located around 25 km from Nellore town and commercial operations might commence from January 2020.
Developed under the Public Private partnership (PPP) mode, media reports suggest that the airport will span 1,352 acres of land and cost around Rs 368 crore, following which it will have a capacity to handle 1.9 million passengers and 55,000 tonnes of cargo ever year, once it is built.
"The new airport will be a catalyst for development of tourism and industry in SPS Nellore district. It will be a cargo export and import hub for the many industrial units in the district. Commercial operations are expected to commence in January 2020 from Dagadarthi," Jain said in a statement.
The demand for development in the area has been a long pending one, ever since the tenure of former CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
In May last year, the central government granted international status to the Vijayawada airport.
The decision to upgrade the status of Vijayawada airport, as per the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was taken by the Union Cabinet, whose meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The proposal will add to improved connectivity to the state capital," the Union Cabinet said in a statement.
"It will provide wider choice of services at competitive costs to the air travellers and give a boost to domestic/international tourism and socio-economic development of Andhra Pradesh by bringing in international passengers and cargo traffic," the statement added.