Modi govt marks survey to set up six airports in Telangana

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday, in a major move, has kick-started the process to setup six more airports in the new state of Telangana, which so far has just one operational airport in Hyderabad. An aeronautical survey has been marked for the proposed development of these six airports by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

In an issue which has political significance in Telangana, the K. Chandrashekhar Rao government has been pressing for more air-connectivity, especially after the newly-bifurcated state in 2014 did not get bulk of the air-connectivity which existed in the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana presently has just the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad while Andhra Pradesh shares this airport, with Hyderabad being the joint capital for 10 years, and has six other operational commercial airports in Vishakapatnam, Vijaywada, Tirupati, Kadapa, Oravakal and Rajahmundry. The first three are international airports. The TRS government in Telangana had last year identified locations in the state for setting up three new airports as well as upgradation of three existing airstrips which have not been operational for several years.

The Centre has now marked an aeronautical survey for setting up new green-field airports in Jakaranpally in NizamabadDistrict, Addakal Mandal in Mahbubnagar District and one in Bhadadri Kothagudem. The survey will also cover three existing airstrips in Warangal, Adilabad District and BasanthNagar in Pedapalli District for their development as brown-field airports. The Warangal airstrip has an existing airport area of about 706 acres and two runways while the airstrip in Pedapalli has an area of about 288 acres – the former has not been in operation commercially since 1981. The new airports, once ready and operational, are expected to lessen the passenger load on the Hyderabad International airport which is presently the sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic in India and served over 21 million passengers in the last fiscal.

The six new airports will cover all parts of the new state, with Adilabad being the northern tip, Bhadadri Kotagudem being the east end and Mahubanagar being the western end of the state.

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