Friday, May 17, 2019

AP offers to pay AAI to close Vizag airport for Bhogapuram

Hyderabad: In a desperate move to shut down the Visakhapatnam International Airport by 2022 and make the Bhogapuram airport project viable, the Andhra Pradesh government is ready to compensate Airports Authority of India (AAI). But AAI officials say they see no reason to shut shop given that the airport’s passenger numbers have been rising for the past few years.
Although AAI had not responded to the compensation proposal, the Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Limited (APADCL) is pegging the compensation to around Rs 40 crore. “AAI has to share details of the capital expenditure incurred on expanding facilities at all airport with the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA). The AERA website states that AAI spent just over Rs 30 crore on the Visakhapatnam Airport since 2014-15,” says Virender Singh, managing director and CEO of APADCL.

APADCL officials are jittery as they have already spent Rs 800 crore of the Rs 24,020 crore meant for the Bhogapuram project. A better part of the funds have been invested on land acquisition.

“Rs 800 crore is no joke,” said a senior APADCL official on condition of anonymity. “We made the investment after getting a written assurance from AAI about shutting down Visakhapatnam airport for 30 years from day one of Bhogapuram airport becoming functional. We would wait for a while after the new government is formed. If the ministry of civil aviation or AAI don’t change their mind, we would move the Supreme Court. At any cost, we want to meet the 2022 deadline for the project.”
17/05/19 Times of India
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