A new N5 taxiway, and six additional parking stands, were commissioned at Visakhapatnam International Airport on Monday. The new taxi track will increase the operational capacity of the airport, by allowing it to run more flights in an hour. As a joint-user airport, the commissioning ceremony was marked by a joint flag-off by Visakhapatnam Member of Parliament (MP), MVV Satyanarayana, and Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh AVSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command (ENC).
The commissioning of the new N5 taxi link at Visakhapatnam is a milestone achievement and will herald the much-awaited expansion of one of the busiest airports in Andhra Pradesh.
According to the Visakhapatnam International Airport Director, K Srinivasa Rao, the new N5 taxiway, in addition to the existing N3 and N4 taxi tracks, will provide additional access to the runway. This will help enable the handling of a greater number of commercial aircraft, particularly during peak hours. Keeping pace with the growing requirements of civil, and military users, Visakhapatnam International Airport is going to witness numerous infrastructure projects including the construction of a parallel taxi track and runway resurfacing.
Currently, nine flights are operated at the Visakhapatnam International Airport in an hour. With this new N5 taxiway, another three flights can be operated in an hour, taking the total number of flights operated per hour to 12. The Airport Director said that the additional six parking stands will enable the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to facilitate night parking of aircrafts at the Visakhapatnam Airport if any airline is interested and requests for the same.
This new taxiway was ready by October last year, but its commissioning got delayed due to the pandemic situation. The construction of taxiways N5 and N6 with six additional stands was carried out as a part of the proposed expansion of the Visakhapatnam International Airport by the Airports Authority of India. The project was undertaken at a cost of Rs. 30.12 crore to enhance the capacity of the airfield and to cater to various entities, industries, civilians and defence requirements.
For a few months, the Visakhapatnam International Airport has been witnessing an increase in flight services by the airlines. Now, once the flight services resume at full capacity, the new taxiway would come in handy at the airport.