Air Travellers Association of India (ATAI) has conducted a survey for assessing passengers’ reactions to shifting of Visakhapatnam International Airport to Bhogapuram and over 98% decline their preference for the new International Airport.
Now the traveler’s body is raising pertinent questions as to the viability of the airport at Bhogapuram and the necessity of the Government constructing one there. The current Visakhapatnam airport has adequate infrastructure and is not being used at full capacity is what the ATAI has pointed out. The current airport can handle 200 flights per day and is just servicing the 75 flights that land daily. The issue here is not contesting it but questioning the construction of the new one at Bhogapuram.
The travel to the Bhogapuram Airport would take a good hour or more with it being 60 kms from Vizag and the inconvenience to air travelers in making the journey is a matter to be kept in mind. Unlike the case of Hyderabad wherein the air traffic load and bigger size of air crafts necessitated a new airport, Vizag doesn’t need one.
The other question raised here is the basis of inviting the Dubai-based Emirates group to establish a hub here and take up the development of Bhogapuram International Airport. As per reports by Deccan Chronicle – “he ATAI president condemned this statement as foreign airlines cannot use Indian Airpo-rts as their hubs except as turn-around flights. The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation or the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) can only allow a foreign airline company to make the airport as its hub, said a member of the ATAI.”
Currently the Visakhapatnam Airport is owned by the Indian Navy and already has two runways, one for civil aviation and the other for military usage.