Airports Authority of India and the Andhra Pradesh Government entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2007 for the expansion of Gannavaram Airport in Vijayawada, but chances of the MoU turning into reality are bleak in near future.
AP State Infrastructure & Investment, Ports, Airports & Natural Gas Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao during his recent visit to Vijayawada city had announced a Rs 70-crore grant for expansion of the runway and construction of new terminal building, but State Budget for 2013-14 saw only an allocation of Rs 90 lakh. This shows the intent of the State Government as 475-acre land acquisition, which is key factor in this process, cannot be taken up and obviously this is the last nail in the coffin of the six-year-old project.
Road block in the project has been the non-fixing of amicable rate for land acquisition and none of the public representatives from Krishna district seems interested in furthering this project. The Gannavaram airport has night-landing facility, Instrument Landing facility, and automated air-traffic control system is under trial. Once the DGCA gives permission, it will be declared operational.
With all these infrastructure facilities and a great potential of passenger patronage, Gannavaram can develop into a major international airport. Experts feel if the runway, which is 7,500 feet now is expanded up to the irrigation canal, wide-bodied aircraft can land and long-distance flights within the country and international flights also can be started. For the initial expansion about 300 acres can be acquired utilising the existing facilities.