The Telangana state government has planned to set up a new airport in Warangal, for which the state will be seeking an exemption from the Centre.
The Centre’s rule states that there can be ‘no airport within 150km radius of a greenfield airport’.
“The Telangana government will send the request seeking exemption to the distance rule to the Centre soon. We hope GMR Group, which developed the RGIA, would not have any objection for this. Moreover, the Centre is encouraging regional connectivity in the country,“ VN Bharat Reddy, director of Aviation (Infrastructure and Investment department) of Telangana told Koride Mahesh of Times of India.
In 2004, the United Andhra Pradesh entered into a memorandum of understanding with GMR Group, who promoted and developed the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad.
According to the ToI report, in the agreement, a clause was incorporated that “no new airport would be given permission within 150km radius of the RGIA for a period of 30 years.”
This was done because RGIA has been developed by the private group which has invested a huge amount of money in the project.
However, after the bifurcation, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao had proposed two more airports, one in and around Ghatkesar and another, around Shamirpet.
According to Deccan Chronicle, Union Minister of state for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, earlier replied to the proposal saying, no new international airport can be developed within 150km of the existing RGIA in Hyderabad’s Shamshabad area.
Meanwhile, the state government proposed to develop Warangal and Khammam airports in the next couple of years.
The Khammam airport has been reportedly proposed at Kothagudem and the Warangal airport at Mamnoor.
Though the Kothagudem does not violate the rule, the Warangal airport falls within 150km radius of Hyderabad airport.
The TOI reported said that Warangal airport which remained in service till 1980, reportedly became non-operational due to lack of demand.
In 2007, Airports Authority of India (AAI) agreed to develop the airport at Mamnoor and entered into an MoU with the Andhra government.
According to DC, AAI said that it required another 400 acres of land for the upgradation of Mamnoor airport.
“There is no chance of upgradation of the Mamnoor airport for the next 20 years. A proposal on it would come up for consideration only after 2030. The united AP government signed an agreement with the GMR company, which built the Shamshabad airport, that it would not develop any other airport within 120 km radius of that constructed in Hyderabad,” then Karimnagar MP Boinapally Vinod Kumar told DC.