A committee under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has accorded permission for the extension of runway at the Vijayawada airport in Andhra Pradesh to meet the current demand and facilitate landing and take off of bigger aircrafts. A proposal submitted by the Airport Authority of India said, the existing airport is currently handling about 40 operations per day (20 landings and 20 take-offs) and operating capacity of the airport is about 300 passengers. In annualised capacity, the airport capacity is 3.60 lakh passengers per annum. After expansion, the airport capacity will be 7.50 lakh. The additional facilities such as passenger terminal building will be developed within the existing airport complex.
“The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), on being satisfied with the submissions of the project proponent in response to its observations, recommended the project for grant of environmental clearance and stipulated the following specific conditions along with other environmental conditions while considering for accord of environmental clearance,” the EAC said in the minutes of the meeting. The total cost of the expansion would nearly be Rs 145 crore. The Vijayawada airport (at Gannavaram) has been witnessing steady growth after the bifurcation of the state in June 2014 and location of the capital city of Amaravati near Vijayawada.
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With entire capital city related air traffic depending on Vijayawada airport, it is proposed to expand it. To meet the growing demands of the traffic and to facilitate bigger aircrafts like B-777, B747 type of aircrafts at Vijayawada airport, the runway is proposed to be extended from the existing 2.286 km to 3.360 km, as per the AAI proposal.