Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials visited Gannavaram Airport , Team consisting of the Airport Authority of India chairman, Executive director(projects), Civil Aviation Secretary, member of planning inspected the airport and discussed the several development plans of the airport such as the expansion of the runway, new terminal with aerobridges and land acquisition.
- The existing runway will be extended from 7,500 feet to 10,000 feet or 12,500 feet.
- The expansion will support the landing of Boeing 777 which will allow operating international carriers directly from vijayawada.
- The existing terminal capacity is only 150 passengers, as per the initial proposal the expansion is for 800 passenger terminal but considering the future needs, AAI officials are planning for a 2000 passenger capacity terminal.
The second runway is not under consideration of AAI, when the government proposed the second runway the AAI officials stated that many international airports in India are operating with a single runway if they consider the future traffic second runway plan will come into existence. New Greenfield airport plans are not under the present consideration of AAI for vijayawada and are looking at upgrades to the Vijayawada, Tirupati, and Vizag airports.
The key problem faced by Vijayawada airport is land acquisition, from the past 10 years vijayawada airport land acquisition was neglected, now the cost for land acquisition raised to 800 crores from 300 crores. Gannavaram airport is already equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast-ADS-B and Tower Automation (TA) system which will help the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) to track aircraft movement. Aircraft moments can be seen on ATC Screen up to 250 nautical mile radius with the details of the origin of aircraft, height, and speed, etc and avert mid-air collision, avoiding confusion between ATC & Pilots. It’s a first of its kind technology set up in airports of A.P.
Vijayawada-based Airlines LEPL Air Costa is planning to set up a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility at Vijayawada Airport by 2015. Currently, Air Costa, Air India, and Spice jet are offering 7 services to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Madurai, New Delhi, and Coimbatore with more than 80 % occupancy rate. More airlines and services are planning to head towards Vijayawada as it is expected to be announced as the Capital of Andhra Pradesh state.
Vijayawada International Airport to divert a major share of traffic from Hyderabad and Chennai International airports from which the NRIs of the state are traveling. The existing high domestic traffic is making the International carriers select Vijayawada for operations.