New terminal opened at Gannavaram Airport; foundation laid for runway expansion

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, along with the Union Ministers, M Venkaiah Naidu and P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, inaugurated the new passenger terminal building at the Gannavaram Airport on Thursday.

The new terminal building was constructed at a cost of Rs 162 crores to provide better amenities for passengers. The project, which was launched last year, was part of the initiatives of the State and the Central governments to develop the Gannavaram Airport as international airport, a promise that was made in the AP Reorganisation Act 2013.

Built on 12,642 square feet, the new terminal building reflects the rich tradition and culture of Vijayawada city and also the proposed new capital, Amaravati. The new passenger terminal has the provision for customs and immigration offices for the international passengers. The terminal would also be able to handle the movement of 500 passengers per hour as against 100 passengers in the old terminal. The new terminal has parking facility for over 300 cars.

The Chief Minister, after inauguration, requested the Central government to change the name of the Gannavaram Airport as Amaravati airport. He sought to remind the government that the capital region, including Vijayawada and Guntur, besides other towns like Gannavaram, was made part of the new capital Amaravati. He wanted the government to rename the airport after the capital city.

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the Central government was committed to the development of Andhra Pradesh and was implementing every promise that had been made to the State as part of the bifurcation. He further claimed that the Union government was doling out several welfare and developmental schemes which were also not promised in the bifurcation Act.

The Chief Minister and the Union Ministers also laid foundation stone for the expansion of the runway. The airport has 2286 metre-long runway, which would have another 1074 metres in length after the expansion. The runway would be expanded at a cost of Rs 150 crores, Union Minister for Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju said.

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