VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has written separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and defence minister Rajnath Singh seeking clearance and NOC for the international airport at Bhogapuram.
In his letters, he underlined that as per provisions of AP Reorganisation Act, the central government has to take all necessary measures for expansion of Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati airports to international standards within six months from the bifurcation of the state.
The CM explained that among these, Visakhapatnam Airport is surrounded by hills on three sides. Hence, owing to safety considerations, flights can take off and land only in one direction. This limits the number of flights, particularly when the same airport “INS Dega” is also used by defence services. It is a potent Naval Air Station on Eastern seaboard. Thus, INS Dega airfield is intrinsically suitable for military flying operations and unsuitable for civil aircraft.
In this context, Jagan Mohan Reddy pointed out that Bhogapuram has no topographical limitations and can have a bi-directional runway, adding to efficiency in commercial operations.
The Chief Minister pointed out, “Ministry of Civil Aviation had accorded site clearance approval for setting up Greenfield International Airport at Bhogapuram in 2016. But the same expired in 2018. The state government has identified a PPP partner for the implementation of the Bhogapuram project. However, the project has not progressed at the desired pace due to expiry of site clearance and NOC.”
CM Jagan requested PM Modi and union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Rajnath Singh to issue site clearance and NOC as early as possible for quick implementation of the international airport project at Bhogapuram.