Phase-I of the airport’s development would be able to accommodate six million passengers annually.
The existing Visakhapatnam International Airport will not operate commercial flights for 30 years after this airport begins operations.
According to General (Retd) V K Singh, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, over Rs 2,500 crore will be invested in the Greenfield Bhogapuram Airport.
GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport Limited (GVIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Limited (GAL), is developing a Greenfield International Airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.
This airport project is based on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. The land needed for its development is roughly 2,203 acres.
The Minister also added that there will not be any commercial flights at the current Visakhapatnam Airport for 30 years. The existing airport in Visakhapatnam is owned by the Indian Navy.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation granted the government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) a no-objection certificate in September 2022 for the closure of scheduled commercial operations at the civil enclave at the existing Vizag Naval Airfield (INS Dega) for 30 years, subject to the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GoAP, reports The Hindu.
According to General Singh, the government of India gave the government of Andhra Pradesh “Site Clearance” in January 2016 for the construction of Bhogapuram Greenfield Airport.
In October 2016, the government of Andhra Pradesh received “In-Principle” clearance from the government of India for the project.
GVIAL would develop the airport in stages. Phase-I of the airport’s development would be able to accommodate six million passengers annually.
The schedule for finishing the airport project depends on a number of variables, including the acquisition of land, the availability of necessary clearances, financial stability, and others.
The proposed greenfield airport site is approximately 45 km from Visakhapatnam through NH-16 (Old NH-5) and 25 km from Vizianagaram via NH-43.
The site is strategically located on the east coast and stands to get benefitted from the vast catchment area surrounding the region.
The development of an international airport for Visakhapatnam at Bhogapuram was first mooted by the Chandrababu Naidu government in 2014, after state bifurcation.
Former CM Chandrababu Naidu planned an aerotropolis at Bhogapuram that would include aviation-linked manufacturing units, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility, research and development centre and test laboratories, multi-modal logistics, exhibition and conference centres, leisure and entertainment facilities, aviation education and training facilities.
However, the present state government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, dropped the other components of the plan and only the international airport would now be developed.
Consequently, the state government decided to retain 500 of the total 2,703 acres of land acquired for the aerotropolis, and hand over only 2,203 acres to GMR for the development of the greenfield international airport.
Also, the Andhra Pradesh government had proposed the construction of a beach road connecting the Visakhapatnam port container terminal with the National Highway (NH)-16 at Bhogapuram via Rushikonda and Bheemunipatnam.
In July this year, Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, stated in the Rajya Sabha that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the six-lane beach road corridor project between Visakhapatnam and Bhogapuram is currently being prepared.