KCR seeks six domestic airports for Telangana

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao called on Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on the second day of his Delhi tour to seek establishment of six domestic airports in Telangana.

The sites identified by Mr. Rao in a representation to the Union Minister on Saturday were Basantnagar in Peddapalli district, Mamnoor in Warangal (Urban), Adilabad town, Jakranpally in Nizamabad, Devarkadra in Mahbubnagar and Bhadradri-Kothagudem district.

Mr. Rao pointed out that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had already taken up the Obstacle Limitation Surface Survey, soil testing and other investigations at the sites. Some draft reports were already received but the final reports were yet to be given.

He recalled requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately after formation of Telangana State in 2014 to sanction five more airports — at Adilabad, Warangal, Kothagudem, Nizamabad and Shamirpet — as there was only one at Hyderabad presently. Some of these places had old airstrips which could be used to establish regular airports. Mr. Modi was informed that Telangana required additional air connectivity for its overall growth.

In this background, Mr. Rao told Mr Puri that the State government had initiated action for creating additional domestic airports at six locations and a formal proposal was sent to the AAI in 2018 to give feasibility reports. It was indicated that only no-frills airports for small aircraft could be developed to begin with and they may be expanded for commercial operations based on demand.

He requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to expedite the process and hand-hold the State government in finalising the sites. It could be helped to get all statutory clearances on single-window basis to commence infrastructure creation work at the earliest for starting Non-Scheduled Operators Permit operations with its own funds.

In the letter addressed to chairman of AAI business development unit in May 2018, the State government said lands for five of the six domestic airports, except Bhadradri-Kothagudem, were identified for setting up green-field airports or develop the existing brown-field airstrips.

No-frills airports catering to 40- to 50-seater ATR-42 aircraft requiring a runway of 1,400-1,500 metres could be developed. Therefore, the State government proposed to engage consultancy services of the unit in preparation of techno-feasibility studies for existing airstrip locations (brown-field) and feasibility study for green-field airports.

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