Anantapur: IndiGo airlines will fly between Kurnool (Orvakal airport) and Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam, and Chennai cities from March 28. The flights would be operated under the Udan regional connectivity scheme.
IndiGo chief strategy and revenue officer Sanjay Kumar said this project will strategically enhance regional connectivity in southern states. He proposed operations from one of the three capitals in Andhra Pradesh, which could also be node for the upcoming Hyderabad-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor."
Flights on all three routes -- Bengaluru-Kurnool, Visakhapatnam-Kurnool and Chennai-Kurnool – will be operated four times a week under the regional connectivity scheme.
Under the Udan scheme, financial incentives are extended from the Centre, the state governments and airport operators to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports, and also to keep airfares affordable.
In the view of Kurnool being proposed as the judicial capital of Andhra Pradesh and as there are more chances of increased accessibility for travellers, not only tourists but also government officials would engage in air travel, he said.
The director of civil aviation (DGCA) has granted licence to the Andhra Pradesh airports development corporation ltd(APDCL) to open Kurnool airport (Orvakal) for public use following an inspection of the site by an official team a few days ago. Nod has been given for commencement of commercial operations of aircraft from Kurnool.
Indigo Airlines has been selected as the private operator under Udan-4 scheme and it has finalised plans to operate flights from there to Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru from March 28. The airport is 350km away from Vijayawada and 360km from Bengaluru. The nearest major international airport is Hyderabad, some 200km away.
The development of a new airport is hoped to facilitate tourism and hinterland logistics in Rayalaseema region.
BIACL is tasked with the development, operation and maintenance of a greenfield airport at Orvakal in Kurnool district through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis.
As Kurnool is situated in the west-central portion of the state and bound by Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, Raichur district, Bellary district of Karnataka, Anantapur and Kadapa districts in the south east and Prakasam district in the east, air traffic from there is expected to increase.
The service sector in Kurnool district has shown steady boom over the years as compared to other sectors, the report revealed.
The first phase is proposed to be constructed to accommodate the traffic projected for up to year 2030. The expansion plan for 2045 is proposed to be implemented in phases. It is proposed to develop the airport for operations of ATR-72 type aircraft in first phase till 2030 to economize the project cost. The ultimate development objective for the airport shall be for operation of Boeing 737-900 or equivalent aircraft till 2045.