Andhra Pradesh government has cleared the much-delayed Visakhapatnam International Airport project involving an investment of ₹3,000 crore. The Chief Minister’s Office has requested the Prime Minister to lay the foundation stone soon.
Development of the new international airport on PPP model at Bhogapuram, 40-km northeast of Visakhapatnam, was first mooted in the year 2014 but for various reasons the project could not start. The original plan was grandiose as the state government wanted to build an aerotropolis that would include aviation-linked manufacturing units, aircraft maintenance, repairs and overhaul (MRO) facility, research and development centre and test laboratories, multimodal logistics, exhibition and conference centres, leisure and entertainment facilities, aviation education and training facilities. The plan also included development of the airport with one runway, parallel taxiway and other infrastructure capable of servicing the world’s largest aircraft.
The state government has decided to retain 500 of the total 2,703 acres of land acquired for the aerotropolis, and hand over only 2,203 acres to GMR for development of the greenfield international airport. The project involves designing, building, financing, constructing, developing, operating and maintaining the greenfield international airport for 40 years, which could be extended by an additional 20 years through international competitive bidding. A Special Purpose Vehicle GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport Limited (GVIAL) has been floated to take up the airport development works.