KURNOOL: With Kurnool airport now all set to take off, there is a great scope for promotion of temple tourism besides giving impetus to real estate development.
The location of Orvakal, about 25 kilometers from Kurnool, where the airport is to commence its operations, is almost midway between Nandyal and Kurnool.
Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, who had pursued the realisation of the airport in its last lap, gave the finishing touches as the air project was moving back and forth in the last two decades.
Parliament Standing Committee chairman on transport, tourism and culture, T.G. Venkatesh, said that temple tourism can flourish once Kurnool airport is open. He said Sriailam, Ahobilam, Mahanandi, Yaganti, and Mantralayam are well-known places of worship in the district. With air connectivity set to improve, the district is on the cusp of development.
The airport project took shape during Congress rule when former Union minister Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy made efforts to locate it at Kodumur. But the land was not favorable for developing an airport. It was during the time when Venkatesh was a minister in the AP cabinet that the location was shifted to Orwakal.
"There was stiff resistance to Orvakal as high tension lines of Transco passed through the proposed site. We shifted the site way away from the HT lines and overcame possible hurdles'', he said.
As the chairman of the Parliamentary standing committee, he said he had negotiated with Indigo Airlines to take up the UDAN-4 scheme and officiated necessary procedural matters to improve air connectivity at Kurnool, he said. Even shifting of aviation training academy from RGIA at Shamshabad was done by using his good offices with GMR, he said.