After securing nod for setting up three new airports in Andhra Pradesh, the state government will soon sign an agreement with the Centre and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for enhancing air connectivity under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) envisaged in National Civil Aviation Policy 2016.
The Union Civil Aviation Ministry recently accorded in principle approval to the state government for setting up a greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram, 40-km from Visakhapatnam, and two low-cost domestic airports at Dagadarti in SPS Nellore district and Orvakallu in Kurnool district. The Andhra Pradesh government has floated Bhogapuram International Airport Company Limited (BIACL) as a special purpose vehicle for development of these airports.
“The BIACL will enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of India and the Airports Authority of India for enhancing regional connectivity through fiscal support, infrastructure development and also for establishing an integrated eco-system that will lead to significant growth of civil aviation sector,” Principal Secretary (Energy, Infrastructure and Investment) Ajay Jain has said. He said these developments, in turn, will promote tourism, increase employment and lead to a balanced regional growth.
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“The primary objective of the RCS is to facilitate and stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable through concessions from both central and state governments to reduce the cost of airline operations on regional routes. Besides, financial support will also be extended by means of Viability Gap Funding to meet the gap, if any, between the cost of airline operations and expected revenues on such routes,” Jain said.
While the international airport at Bhogapuram would be developed on a 5311-acre site in public-private partnership mode, those in SPS Nellore and Kurnool districts would be developed as low-cost airports by BIACL.
“Tenders have been floated for selection of developers of these three airports and will be finalised soon,” the Principal Secretary added.