The central government granted international status to the Vijayawada airport on Wednesday.
The decision to upgrade the status of Vijayawada airport, as per the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was taken by the Union Cabinet, whose meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The proposal will add to improved connectivity to the state capital,” the Union Cabinet said in a statement.
“It will provide wider choice of services at competitive costs to the air travellers and give a boost to domestic/international tourism and socio-economic development of Andhra Pradesh by bringing in international passengers and cargo traffic,” the statement added.
Speaking to the Times of India, airport director G Madhusudhan Rao said, “The plan is to turn the old terminal into an international one. The designs have already been approved by AAI. We plan to finish the works by July 31, 2017.”
The international tag comes months after state Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a new terminal building at the airport.
The new terminal building at the airport, also known as Gannavaram airport, had been completed at a cost of Rs 135 crore, and has thrice the capacity of its predecessor.
At the time, Naidu also demanded that the Gannavaram airport, which would be renamed the Amaravati airport, be renamed the ‘NTR Amaravati Airport.’
“We want to promote Amaravati, the brand name of the AP capital. And, NTR is our leader who belonged to this place. The people should remember him forever,” he was quoted as saying.