Six Million Passengers to 40: Everything about Bhogapuram International Airport
The people of North Andhra have long desired a Bhogapuram International Airport. Around six million people annually will use the first phase of the GMR Group's Bhogapuram International Airport. The airport will be built in stages, with the final stage having a capacity of about 40 million passengers annually. Additionally, it is anticipated that the clearance of the six-lane national highway connecting NH-16 and Visakhapatnam Beach Road with Bhogapuram Airport will increase accessibility to the airport and improve connectivity.
A Greenfield airport was first proposed to be built at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The Navy recommended adding flight slots for civilians to the existing airport considering the current Visakhapatnam Airport is a civil enclave on a naval airfield.
However, a new airport was required as the current one has limitations. 61 kilometers to the northeast of Visakhapatnam is Bhogapuram. It is located on the boundary of the districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram, and it would serve as a vital connection to the port city, and hopes are that it will to transform into the administrative center of Andhra Pradesh.
A division of GMR Airports Ltd (GAL) is GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport Ltd (GVIAL). The project will follow a design, construct, finance, operate, and transfer (DBFOT) model of public-private partnership (PPP). The Hyderabad-based GMR Group, which has been given the job of building and running the airport, has announced its intention to invest Rs 5,000 crore in its development.
Laid the Foundation Stone in 2019
In 2014, the Telugu Desam Party government began purchasing 2,700 acres for the airport. N Chandrababu Naidu laid the airport's foundation stone in 2019, however construction had to be halted due to legal issues with land purchase.The project on 2,200 acres has been restarted by the current administration. The proposed airport at Bhogapuram can now be built after the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed all writs opposing the land purchase in November of last year.
The administration of the Vizianagaram district has since finished almost all land acquisition. Following the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, the displaced families from the villages of Rellipeta, Mudasarlapeta, Bollinkalapalem, and Maradapalem received five cents of land each in Lingalavalasa and Gudepuvalasa rehabilitation colony and were also compensated with Rs 9.20 lakh.
The administration claims that all required infrastructure has been made, including roads, drains, overhead water tanks, electrification, community buildings, Anganwadi centers, primary schools, and parks.
The project location received technical permission from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in June 2015. The project's request for proposals (RFP) was released in July 2016. In August 2018, a pre-bid meeting was held, and 13 developers attended. Finally, the project's development by GMR Group received official approval. The airport was initially intended to be built as a component of a mega aerotropolis on around 5,311 acres of land.
There was an aviation academy, Bhogapuram Airport, cargo facilities, an MRO facility, and so forth. But the project's layout was altered as a result of local landowners' objections. A 2,200-acre location in and around Bhogapuram that serves the city of Visakhapatnam would now be used to build the airport. The project would be created on the basis of a public-private partnership (PPP), with the State owning an interest in the form of land holdings.
It included Bhogapuram Airport, freight facilities, an MRO facility, and an aviation academy. The project's layout was altered in response to local landowners' objections, though. The airport would now be built on a 2,200-acre land in and around Bhogapuram that serves the city of Visakhapatnam. The project would be created under a public-private partnership (PPP) format, with the State owning an interest in the form of land holdings.
Planned in Two Phases
Planned in two phases is the Bhogapuram International Airport. In addition to cargo, it will accommodate both domestic and international travel. Six million people will be accommodated at the terminal annually during Phase 1. Phase 2 should result in an increase in traffic of 18 million passengers annually. The airport's projected 3,800 m-long runway.
How People Can Benefit from the Project
According to Industries Minister Gudivada Amarnath, the initiative will likely be beneficial to those in north Andhra. At the Global Investors Summit 2023 in Visakhapatnam, the chairman of GMR Group, GM Rao, stated that the airport will initially be able to handle six million people per year but eventually expand to 40 million.
The airport is anticipated to contain cutting-edge freight facilities in addition to the passenger terminal to assist exports. There are plans to build a metropolis around the airport. It will include an industrial zone, an aviation zone, and zones for education and healthcare.
Rao anticipates that the Bhogapuram airport will contribute to the transformation of Visakhapatnam and establish the state as a top investment location globally, spurring regional economic growth and opening up employment prospects. It might also aid in bringing in more visitors to the area.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport, stated last month that a six-lane, 55-km national highway connecting Visakhapatnam Beach Road to Bhogapuram International Airport and NH-16 had been given the green light.
When Will the Airport be Completed?
On May 3, the new Greenfield International airport's foundation stone will be laid by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in Bhogapuram, close to Visakhapatnam. The Minister indicated that a 2,200 acre tract will be used for the airport. 2,195 acres have already been purchased by the government, and the remaining parcels will follow soon. Amarnath promised people that the government would keep its word. He predicted that the airport's development will be finished in 24 to 30 months.
The expansion of economic activity in the North Andhra region will start with the opening of the new international airport. The new facility will contribute to the growth of the hospitality and travel logistics sectors. Air connectivity to global markets will spur industrial development in the districts of Bhogapuram, Srikakulam, and Vizianagaram, creating new job possibilities and driving up housing demand. The commercial and residential markets in neighboring areas will grow as a result of simpler business and travel options to and from Bhogapuram. Additionally, Vizianagaram, a center for textiles and basic goods, will see an increase in commercial activity. Overall social and civic infrastructure in the area will grow as a result of this.