In a major development, Kurnool city in Andhra Pradesh entered the aviation map with the trial run of the Orvakal Greenfield airport being conducted successfully on Monday morning. As part of the trial run, an aircraft flew from Hyderabad and landed at the airport, carrying the state's Principal Secretary (Energy) Ajay Jain. The Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Ltd. (APADCL) was in charge of developing the airport.
According to media reports, the airport is being developed over 1,000 acres with an initial investment of Rs 100 crore and is expected to be formally inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on January 8. The airport will help many cities and towns in the state's Rayalaseema region get air connectivity.
It was in February last year that the Andhra Pradesh government gave its nod to the Revenue Department to allocate roughly 639 acres of land across several villages in Kurnool, for building a greenfield airport at Orvakal. This came a few months after the Civil Aviation Ministry recommended an 'in principle' approval to three new greenfield projects in the state.
The Steering Committee on Greenfield Airports, headed by Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey, considered the proposals for four new airport projects in the state.
"The committee recommended 'in principle' approval to three projects in Andhra Pradesh viz., Bhogapuram, Dagadarthi (Nellore) and Orvakal (Kurnool). The committee also recommended for 'site clearance' to the project of Kothagudem in Telangana," the Ministry had said in a statement at the time.
"These clearances are expected to enhance the aviation infrastructure facilities in newly created states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and will also boost the regional connectivity scheme announced recently by the Government of India," the statement had said.
Just last month, the Vijayawada airport in Andhra Pradesh officially turned â€˜internationalâ€™ as Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the first international flight from the city to Singapore and laid the foundation stone for the integrated passenger terminal building at the airport.