In separate letters written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy sought the clearance and No Objection Certificate (NOC) for proceeding with the international airport project at Bhogapuram.
Besides seeking approval for Bhogapuram airport, Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy also reminded the Union Ministers regarding the expansion plans of Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada airports. According to the provisions stated in the AP Reorganisation Act, the central government has to develop the airports in Andhra Pradesh within six months from the bifurcation of the state.
Due to the geographical speciality of hills on all three sides, Visakhapatnam Airport faces limitations in operating flights. The flights from Visakhapatnam Airport can only take off and land in one direction, limiting the number of flights that can be operated from the airport. Defence Ministry is also using the space at airport as a potent Naval Air Station of the Indian Navy on the Eastern seaboard. Dubbed as INS Dega, the airfields at the airport are favourable for military flying operations, making a portion unsuitable for passenger aircraft.
Bhogapuram airport provides an alternative to such issues as it has no topographical limitations. The flights can operate on bi-directional runways, enabling seamless commercial operations from the airport.
Existing Clearance of Bhogapuram Airport Expired in 2018
Andhra Pradesh already received the site clearance for Bhogapuram airport from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016. According to the approval, the site at Bhogapuram is suitable for establishing Greenfield International Airport. However, the permission was offered for a period of two years, leading to its expiry in 2018.
According to Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government is planning a public-private partnership (PPP) strategy to develop the Bhogapuram airport project. However, the government cannot take the plan forward as the clearance got expired in 2018. He has requested the Central Government -- PM Modi and civil and defence Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Rajnath Singh – to sanction the approval as early as possible to implement the airport project at Bhogapuram quickly.