International operations from Tirupati Airport will begin by June end, with initial flights to the US and the middle-east (via New Delhi), a senior Andhra Pradesh government official said today.
Customs and other procedural formalities are being completed at the newly-developed airport for the launch of international operations, Principal Secretary for Energy, Infrastructure and Investment, Ajay Jain said.
“To begin with, we will have flights to the US and the middle-east (via New Delhi) and subsequently to other international destinations,” Jain told a press conference here.
Vijayawada airport too would have international flights once the interim terminal building gets ready, he said.
While the interim terminal building was originally scheduled to be completed by October but Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has asked the contractor to finish it by August in time for the Krishna Pushkarams.
The existing airport at Rajamahendravaram was being expanded to enable operation of larger aircraft like the Airbus A-319 and A-320, Jain added.
“We have acquired 857 acres of land at a cost of Rs 350 crore for expansion of the runway. The Airports Authority of India will spend Rs 120 crore on the expansion work,” he added.
About the problems in acquiring land for the proposed greenfield International Airport at Bhogapuram near Visakhapatnam, the Principal Secretary said farmers in the region were now coming forward to part with their lands under the land pooling scheme proposed by the state government.
“About 97 per cent of farmers are ready to give their land as we are offering them a best compensation package. So far, we have got consent from farmers for giving 350 acres of land.
“The Bhogapuram Airport Ltd, the special purpose vehicle constituted to develop the airport, is securing Rs 1,500 crore from the Hudco (Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd) and the bidding process will start in June,” Jain said.