The Centre on Tuesday, in a major move, has kick-started the process to line up six new airports in the new state of Telangana, which so far has only 1 operational airport in Hyderabad. an aeronautical survey has been marked for the projected development of these six airports by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
In an issue that has political significance in Telangana, the K. Chandrashekhar Rao government has been pressing for additional air-connectivity, especially after the newly-bifurcated state in 2014 failed to get bulk of the air-connectivity which existed in the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana presently has the only one Rajiv Gandhi International airport in Hyderabad whereas Andhra Pradesh shares this airport, with Hyderabad being the joint capital for ten years, and has six alternative operational commercial airports in Vishakapatnam, Vijaywada, Tirupati, Kadapa, Oravakal and Rajahmundry.
The Vishakapatnam, Vijaywada, and Tirupati airports are international airports. The TRS government in Telangana had last year identified locations within the state for setting up 3 new airports also as up-gradation of 3 existing airstrips that haven’t been operational for many years.
The Centre has currently marked an aeronautical survey for setting up new green-field airports in Jakaranpally in NizamabadDistrict, Addakal Mandal in Mahbubnagar District and one in Bhadadri Kothagudem.
The survey will also cover the existing three airstrips in Warangal, Adilabad District and BasanthNagar in Pedapalli District for their development as brown-field airports. The Warangal airstrip has an existing airport space of about 706 acres and 2 runways whereas the airstrip in Pedapalli has an area of about 288 acres – the previous has not been operating commercially since 1981.
The new airports, once ready and operational, are expected to reduce the passenger load on the Hyderabad International airport that is presently the sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic in India and served over twenty-one million passengers within the last financial year.
The six new airports can cover all parts of the new state, with Adilabad being the northern tip, Bhadadri Kotagudem being the east end and Mahubanagar being the western end of the state.
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