Arching the picture-perfect expansion

, AAI Updates

From providing world class facilities to ensuring safe and secure aircraft operations, Vijayawada Airport is working towards providing the best airport experience to the passengers

Stationed on the banks of the Krishna river, Vijayawada is a commercial city in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, the second largest metropolis after Visakhapatnam. Recognised as a global city of the Future by McKinsey Quarterly, Vijayawada is renowned for processing of agricultural products, automobile body building, hardware, textile, consumer goods and small-scale industries. The city has been gaining more and more inhabitants with the growing economy.

History & Development

The Vijayawada Airport is a public airport serving all who walk-in and walk-out of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region. Previously, the airfield located at Gannavaram served as an Army base during World War II, shortly after it was converted into a civilian airport. It was only in September 2003 that Air Deccan was introduced, which provided a daily service between Hyderabad and Vijayawada. The airport had only four flights a day operated by Kingfisher Airlines before 2011. However, the year 2011 marked a new beginning when the flag carrier Air India and private airlines, SpiceJet and Jet Airways, introduced direct flights to the airport.

With time and incessant development, the air passenger traffic increased by a whopping 76 per cent at Vijayawada Airport between the years 2015-2017, shortly after it became the state’s new capital region. The introduction of the Terminal Building in January 2017 helped cater the rising passenger traffic at Vijayawada Airport. 

Passenger traffic analysis

With the number of passengers travelling by air crossing the one million mark and to meet the passenger’s requirement for international travel, the demand for a better, modern and bigger infrastructure blew up like never before. A terminal building with Passenger Aero Bridges at the Vijayawada Airport under the guidance of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) have been aiding them to achieve it in most rapid way possible.

Passenger centric measures taken by the Vijayawada Airport has yielded an increase by 58.8 per cent in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18 in the passenger movement. The aircraft movement also witnessed an increase by 56.95 per cent in 2018-19 as compared to 2017- 18 at the airport.

Connectivity

Vijayawada is expanding by leaps and bounds with a number of political, economical, agricultural, business, cultural, sporting, tourism and social activities taking place. The Vijayawada Airport does not only gives mileage in connecting passengers domestically but also internationally. The major existing domestic routes here include Kadapa, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Tirupati, Mumbai and one international route connects all the way to Singapore. The idea of expansion, however, is to add potential routes to Ahmedabad, Goa, Varanasi, Kolkata, Shirdi and Cochin domestically and Dubai internationally.

New initiatives

December 4, 2018 marked a special day for the airport as the Foundation Stone was laid for the New Integrated Terminal Building, which is being developed at an estimated cost of `611 crore. The New Terminal Building is designed to meet the passenger flow till 2050, making it possible for aircraft like Airbus 330 and Boeing 747 & 777 to be able to land on the extended runway.

Milestones

The airport is doing its best to make the passengers have an experience-rich journey, starting from having built a new terminal building and extended runway for bigger aircraft to tactile flooring for visually impaired passengers. It has gained several achievements in the recent past, making it an airport of par excellence.

Commencement of the First international Operations to/from Vijayawada Airport: The dream has come true for the people of the state with the start of international operations at the Vijayawada Airport. A new era in the history of the airport began on December 4, 2018 with the landing of International flight as the city was put on the map of international airports. Significantly, it marked a huge step towards building stronger air connectivity between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore as it would help increase India’s reach in South East Asia and Vijayawada might soon become an aviation gateway between the two prospering regions.

Extended Runway at Vijayawada Airport: The Vijayawada Airport reached another milestone on February 12, 2019 with the inauguration of its extended runway. The expansion of the runway from 2,286 metres to 3,360 metres was done at a cost of `150 crore. With the expansion of the runway, bigger aircraft like B 747-400 and B 777-300 will now land safely. Moreover, passenger traffic can be increased in addition to the one million passenger traffic being handled by the airport.

Commencement of Domestic Cargo Terminal: The much-awaited cargo facility was launched at the Vijayawada Airport in Gannavaram on June 19, 2018. The facility will be handy for the farmers in the Krishna and Godavari districts, as they can export around 15-metric tonnes of agriculture products to various parts of the country. Around 3 to 4 tons of goods is expected to be exported and imported by flights utilising the cargo facility. The operations of Common Use Domestic Cargo Terminal (CUDCT) also commenced from August 1, 2018.

The green effect 

Following the lines of Cochin Airport, which totally runs on solar power, Vijayawada Airport will soon belong to the category of “Green Airports”. The airport will also have a 1MW Solar Plant System installed to meet the energy needs. The airport will be able to generate 4.07 MW power per day on an average annually through solar plant installed here.

Artistic pitstop

The passengers travelling through the Vijayawada Airport are bound to be enchanted by the display of the various paintings and crafts that are sublime and exemplary in nature all over the Terminal Building. The display of artwork, colourful projections of murals and paintings decorated on the walls of the airport Terminal Building are the major points for tourists to enjoy their time at the airport.

The vast array of local artwork at the airport forms the essence of local tradition and culture enriching passenger experience by providing a glimpse of the local history, culture and heritage, and architecture of Vijayawada. The artwork includes an installation of elephant structure resembling the culture and heritage of Kondapally. Wooden toys placed in front of the New Domestic Terminal Building avowals the Andhra Pradesh State Tourism. One of the famous artwork is the Buddha Statue near Ceremonial Lounge, which grabs the eyeballs of tourists at the airport. There are various landscaping, painting and mural works at the Arrival Hall, Departure Hall and at the Security Hold Area (SHA) making it aesthetically alluring to the tourists.

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