CM’s gift to Kurnool: Orvakal Airport

Come January 8th and Kurnool will be on aviation map of Andhra Pradesh. Orvakal Greenfield Airport, which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on January 8th, is set to ease connectivity in Rayalaseema region of the state. 

The airport is being developed in 1000 acres with an initial investment Rs. 100 crore. Orvakal airport is one of the 50 low-cost airports identified by the Government of India to enhance connectivity to remote areas. The construction work of the airport began in 2017 and has been completed in one and half year.

According to state government officials, the ‘in principle’ approval for Orvakal airport was given along with two other airports in the state at Bhogapuram (Vizianagaram) and Dagadarthi (Nellore).

Interestingly, a successful trial run has also been conducted when an aircraft took off from Hyderabad and landed at Orvakal yesterday. The new airport is a feather in the cap to the fledgling state at a time when investments into the state are booming. 

Just last month, Vijayawada airport was accorded international status when Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu flagged off the first international flight to Singapore from the city. With Orvakal airport, the number of domestic airports in Andhra Pradesh have gone up to 5 with others being Rajahmundry, Kadapa, Tirupathi, Nellore and Kadapa   along with two international airports (Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada).

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh’s airports have seen a spike in the air traffic by recording a 40% growth as the number of air travellers grew to 2.73 million from 1.94 million in the previous year. 
The state currently handles 1.7% of the total air passengers traffic and stands 2nd in terms of the largest number of operational airports in the country. 

Following bifurcation, the state has created 4,000 jobs through the construction of new airports. Chief Minister Naidu is confident that the increased air connectivity across the state will boost trade and tourism prospects of the state. 

Soon, Andhra Pradesh may also see direct flights to Dubai, Shanghai and other destinations in the US.

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