Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam city airport will not be shut down even after the construction of Bhogapuram airport. An assurance to this effect was given by Chairman of Airport Authority of India (AAI) Guruprasad Mohapatra to the AP Air Travellers’ Association (APATA) when APATA vice-president O Naresh Kumar along with former Union Minister and Independent Director of Air India Daggubati Purandeswari met him in New Delhi on Tuesday.
He also said the new developer of the airport at Bhogapuram should keep in mind this specific condition that the Visakhapatnam airport would operate even if the new airport comes up in place. Both Naresh Kumar and Purandeswari requested AAI to develop a world class airport in Visakhapatnam on the lines of Singapore airport which can handle 30 to 50 million passengers a year. He expressed his willingness if the land was given to AAI either at Visakhapatnam or Bhogapuram. He also said AAI was ready to develop the existing airport if sufficient land is given by the Vizag port and the Navy for development of world class airport.
On the Bhogapuram front, Mohapatra said they were ready to develop Bhogapuram airport as well and in fact they were the lowest bidders in the previous tender which were, however, cancelled and AAI was not allowed to bid in the second round on the ground that airport developer should also have experience in developing commercial real estate space.