The residents can now cheer up as the government had recently approved the DPR submitted by Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Limited for phase-1 works of airport under PPP mode. With this greenfield airport is being constructed under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode at Dagadarthi in 1,379.71 acres from April. Though the process of land acquisition for the proposed airport has been underway, requirement of land enhanced to 1,861.20-acre after a proposal to operate cargo flights was prepared. The airport will feature a new passenger terminal building, aircraft apron, singular runway, cargo handling and car parking facilities with an estimated cost of Rs 368 crore. It is designed to operate small ATR-72-600 type aircraft and will be able to handle about 200 peak hour passengers.

TBD is taking up the civil works and the deadline for completion of works is 2024. As of January, the district administration has acquired 1,065.3-acre of the required 1,861.20 acres in Dagadarthi, Velupodu, Damavaram, K Kourugunta villages. Earlier, SCL-Turbo, a consortium of Nellore International Airport Private Limited, had signed a concession agreement with AP Government for the development of airport in 2018.

The company has also planned a cargo hub expecting huge demand from local industries, Krishnapatnam Port and from nearby cities including Tirupati and Sri City. With only Chennai port facilitating most of cargo services, chances of business will be diverted to Nellore airport after its construction, authorities said. Flights will initially be operated from Nellore to Bengaluru, Vizag and Hyderabad cities and will be expanded to other places depending on the demand and response. District administration is taking measures for setting up medium and small-scale industries close to the airport like Bodduvaripalem so that employment can be generated. The land acquisition process has been almost completed regardless of a few pending court cases and other issues. Further, the state has terminated the concession agreement entered between the Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Limited and Nellore International Airport Private Limited in 2020. It may be recalled that Minister for Industries and IT Mekapati Goutham Reddy announced in August in 2019 that they were handing over works of airport to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).


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