Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday asked the Infrastructure and Investments (I and I) Department to plan and build at least seven new airports in the State under the One District One Airport' concept. The One District One Airport is a good concept, the Chief Minister said and asked the officials of the I and I Department to build the new airports in identical fashion with a capacity to handle even Boeing-type aircraft, a press release from the CMO said.
The Chief Minister made this point at a review meeting on the I and I Department. Andhra Pradesh now has 13 districts with functional airports in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Rajamahendravaram, Kurnool and Kadapa. The government initiated the process to create at least 12 new districts but the CMO note did not say if the proposed new districts, too, would have an airport each. The Chief Minister wanted the officials to take up the expansion of the existing airports by drawing up an action plan within a timeframe.
It's more than a year since the contract for development of a greenfield airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district was awarded to the GMR Group but the work is yet to start due to hitches in land acquisition.
The contract awarded by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government for the development of an airport at Dagadarthi in SPS Nellore district was terminated in July 2020 by the Jagan regime but no fresh developer was chosen yet, official sources said.
The Chief Minister, at the review meeting, directed the officials to ensure that the Bhogapuram and Dagadarthi airports works were expeditiously completed. He asked them to take up expansion of the existing airports on a priority basis and focus particularly on the Vijayawada airport in view of the growing traffic. Incidentally, the Airports Authority of India took up the Vijayawada airport expansion and completed the work to expand the runway.