Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday said that plans were afoot to develop Visakhapatnam airport into a modern one on the East Coast. Speaking to newsmen here, Mr. Gajapathi Raju said that the plan was part of developing two such airports on the East Coast and another two on the West Coast. “India has three modern airports at Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bengaluru. Given the size of the country, we need four more modern airports,” said Mr. Gajapathi Raju.
The Union Minister said that Maharashtra had approached the Civil Aviation Ministry with a proposal to set up a modern airport at Navi Mumbai on the West Coast. Referring to existing hurdles in gathering land for the proposed airport at Bhogapuram and expansion of the Gannavaram airport, Mr. Gajapathi Raju said that land acquisition for the proposed facilities was a State subject and the Centre had no role in it.
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation will encourage the State governments to come up with proposals to set up airports. But the airport should be a performing asset of the State, helping it generate income and create employment opportunities,” he said. He also confirmed that the expansion work at the airport in Rajamahendravaram was in full swing.