Telangana to get additional air-connectivity with 6 airports

The Centre recently 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. Telangana’s only airport in Hyderabad is also used by Andhra Pradesh since both the states jointly share the capital for 10 years. Andhra Pradesh on the other hand has six operational commercial airports out of which three are international airports.

In an issue that has political significance in Telangana, the K. Chandrashekhar Rao government has been pressing for additional air-connectivity, especially after the newly-bifurcated state in 2014 failed to get bulk of the air-connectivity which existed in the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Centre has currently 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 greenfield airports will be built by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) although the timeline for the same has not been decided yet. The survey will also cover the existing three airstrips in Warangal, Adilabad District and BasanthNagar in Pedapalli District for their development as brown-field airports.

The Warangal airstrip has an existing airport space of about 706 acres and 2 runways whereas the airstrip in Pedapalli has an area of about 288 acres – the previous has not been operating commercially since 1981.

The state government has been pressing the issue of more air connectivity in the state. Last year, it has identified sites for setting up three airports and sought upgradation of three existing airstrips which have not been operational. 
Telangana presently has the only one Rajiv Gandhi International airport in Hyderabad whereas Andhra Pradesh shares this airport, with Hyderabad being the joint capital for ten years, and has six alternative operational commercial airports in Vishakapatnam, Vijaywada, Tirupati, Kadapa, Oravakal and Rajahmundry.

The new airports, once ready and operational, are expected to reduce the passenger load on the Hyderabad International airport that is presently the sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic in India and served over twenty-one million passengers within the last financial year. The six new airports can 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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