By the time this issue of Cruising Heights goes to press, the government’s pro-active step for air cargo will see a definite movement when the ground-breaking ceremony for the country’s first Greenfield airport and cargo hub at Dagadarthi, in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh takes place. Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to do the honours.
Sometime ago, the Managing Director of the consortium, Nellore International Airport Private Limited (NIAL), Vankayapati Umesh signed an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Airport Development Corporation (APADCL) to Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) the airport through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
In an advantageous geographical location, the proposed airport – possible name will be Dagadarthi Airport – will have excellent connectivity: situated on the Vizag-Chennai National Highway and only 30 km from Krishnapatnam Port. Once it starts functioning, the airport hopes to ease the pressure on Chennai and Tirupati airports that have been facing severe pressure with huge cargo traffic. Since Nellore is close to both cities, some traffic would certainly be diverted to Dagadarthi. As Ajay Jain, the state’s Chief Secretary (the top bureaucrat in the state) put it: “The new airport will be a catalyst for development of tourism and industry in SPS Nellore district. It will be a cargo export and import hub for the many industrial units in the district. Comm