AP government has approved the DPR submitted by Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation for phase-1 of the airport project to be built under the PPP model at ₹368 crore investment. The greenfield airport is being constructed at Dagadarthi on an area of 1,379.71 acres. Though the process of land acquisition for the proposed airport has been underway, the requirement of land was enhanced to 1,861.20-acre after a proposal to operate cargo flights was prepared.
The airport will feature a new passenger terminal building, aircraft apron, singular runway, cargo handling and car parking facilities. It is designed to operate small ATR-72-600 type aircraft and will be able to handle about 200 peak hour passengers.
The project has been awarded to TBD with a completion dead line of 2024. As of January, the district administration has acquired 1,065.3-acre of the required 1,861.20 acres in Dagadarthi, Velupodu, Damavaram, K Kourugunta villages. With only Chennai port facilitating most of the cargo services, chances of business will be diverted to Nellore airport after its commissioning. Flights will initially be operated from Nellore to Bengaluru, Vizag and Hyderabad cities and will be expanded to other places depending on the demand and response. The project was handed over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in August 2019.