VIJAYAWADA:The much-awaited expansion of Gannavaram airport, which is proposed to be developed with international standards, will become a reality soon with civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju directing the officials to complete works pertaining to development of a new terminal and lounges by April 30.
After Vijayawada being announced as capital region, the focus completely shifted to the Gannavaram airport and the Union government has decided to develop the Gannavaram airport with international standards. Officials of the Airport Authority India (AAI) have already prepared the plan for expansion of the runway from the existing 7,500 feet to 10,500 feet to facilitate easy landing of international flights and to construct a temporary terminal building to meet the requirements of increasing number of passengers to Vijayawada from various places.
“Orders were issued for construction of a temporary terminal in 5 acre. It will accommodate food lounges where passengers can avail themselves of a variety of delicious food items apart from having access to ATMs of different banks, shopping arcades, rest-rooms and escalators. The entire terminal building will have wi-fi connectivity. The expanded area can accommodate 700 passengers, while at present it can hold just,’’ a higher official at Gannavaram airport told Express.
There will also be baggage scanners and separate trolleys for the convenience of differently-abled and elderly persons. In his maiden visit to Vijayawada as Union civil aviation minister recently, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju had expressed displeasure over inadequate facilities and commented that it was worse than a bus-stand. On the occasion, he assured his support to develop it on a par with the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.
Even other VVIPs like Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who frequent the airport, had also expressed their dissatisfaction over the lack of good facilities and opined that the facilities should be improved first to turn it into an international airport.