VISAKHAPATNAM: A high level committee led by chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and members of Planning Commission on Wednesday visited various places including Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district and Pedagantyada, Nakkapalli and Rambilli mandals in Visakhapatnam district to assess the possibilities of setting up an international airport in the region.
It may be mentioned here that the Andhra Pradesh government, after bifurcation, had decided to construct an international airport in and around Visakhapatnam and two mini airports in the region. With the involvement of the Union minister of civil aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the committee was visiting various possible places in the region in this connection. In fact, a proposal was mooted to construct an international airport in Vizianagaram / Visakhapatnam districts way back in 2007. Earlier, two delegations from AAI and other Central government agencies visited and studied the possibilities to set up the international airport.
Visakhapatnam joint collector Praveen Kumar received the committee at Vizag Airport and took them to Bhogapuram. Vizianagaram collector MM Naik explained the team about the availability of land to an extent of 2,560 acres, spread across in four villages of Bhogapuram mandal. He also explained about the national highway connectivity to the airport and an advantage of the coast nearby.
Later, the team visited Pedagantya, Nakkapalli and Rambilli in Visakhapatnam district and inquired about the visits made by the previous committees and the field level reports. However, the Eastern Naval Command authorities reportedly raised objections to establishing the international airport at S Rayavaram, which is very close to their new base being constructed at Rambilli.
Meanwhile, the committee members expressed their satisfaction over the lands available in Bhogapuram and the logistic supports for setting up the international airport.