The missing link in the grand plans for the new Andhra Pradesh capital may well turn out to be the airport. True, there is an airport at Gannavaram. But it is nothing more than a toy airport. It is just too small to accommodate the future needs. Now there are reports that the airport is being expanded. Government is planning to acquire around 400 acres adjacent to the present airport in Ajjampudi, Kesarapalli and Buddhavaram villages. Read the Eenadu report on this link. 

The fact is even this expansion has hit a roadblock Read the Deccan chronicle report HERE.

Gannavaram airport expansion hits a roadblock

However, even if this land is acquired, with this addition of 400 acres the airport will expand to only 1000 acres. Now consider why it still remain awfully inadequate and will still be a “toy” airport.

  1. The new greenfield airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore have been built on approximately 4000-5000 acres of land.
  2. Only such large airports can accommodate increasing numbers of passengers and the cargo traffic needs of the future.
  3. In future, if the new Andhra capital city wants an Airbus A380 to land, the runway length needs to be at least 5 kms.
  4. The present runway length is less than even 2.5 kms and may only increase marginally after the said expansion.

gannavaram vijayawada airport

One is tempted to think that the state government may be planning this expansion only as a temporary measure and may take up another greenfield airport in the vicinity of the new capital thereafter. But if that is the case, the present rule that a new airport can not come up at a distance less than 150 kms from the existing airport, needs to be amended. Remember, the old HAL and Begumpet airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad respectively, had to be closed down for the new airports to start functioning.

Meanwhile, there is no clarity even on the new proposed airport between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada. Read our earlier report HERE.

It remains to be seen how the Chandrababu Naidu government attends to this issue. I am sure, he knows that the new capital city deserves an airport which is much bigger than the  “toy” airport at Gannavaram.


Latest news as on 8th Dec’ 2014: Source: Deccan Chronicle

gannavaram expansion