The International greenfield airport at Bhogapuram, which lies on the border of the port city Vishakhapatnam and Vizianagaram district is strategically located on the east coast and is expected to drive retail and hospitality in the region and stimulate growth in North Andhra.
The international airport which was initially proposed in 2014 by then government was initially supposed to acquire 15000 acres of land which was brought down to 2700 acres due to stiff opposition from people.
GMR international which after two years of confusion won the bid to develop the greenfield project by offering to pay INR 303 per passenger fee, has signed the concession agreement for development and operation of the airport with Andhra Pradesh government
Prior to this, in 2017, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) had won the bid by offering 30.2% revenue share at the time when the erstwhile government of Chandrababu Naidu called bids. GMR was the second-highest bidder. However, later in 2018 the bid was considered null and avoid and the state government invited fresh bids with new rules and regulation.
AAI which had already spent 50 crores on the development of the project has agreed to shut the Vizag airport by 2022 for which they will be compensated.
As per recent updates GMR will develop 2200 acres of the total land and the remaining 500 will be under the state government. The project, developed by GMR, involves design, build, finance, construction, development, operation and maintenance of the greenfield international airport for 40 years, extendable by additional 20 years through international competitive bidding process, with GMR Airports Limited having RoFR (Right of First Refusal) of 10%.
In 2019, Visakhapatnam airport handled 2.78 million passengers and 4,400 tonnes of cargo. Over the past five years, the passenger traffic at Vizag airport has grown at 21 per cent while the airport ranks 5th amongst the Custom airports in India in terms of cargo traffic.
Hyderabad amid the construction of the Shamshabad airport had taken its first step to become a cargo hub. It is believed that the international airport is a welcome step and will cater to the need of the Vizag city.
This is the second greenfield airport project for GMR, the group will also develop the new Mopa airport in Goa.
GMR which has also developed airports like Hyderabad and Delhi airport is admen that the new airport will serve as a landmark for the state.