Andhra Pradesh Nation

Centre, States should work as team: Venkaiah Naidu

Tirupati: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu underlined the need for the Centre and state governments to work as Team India, which will result in the development of the states. Speaking at a function organised at Tirupati airport after laying foundation stone for the ‘extension and strengthening of runway work’ to be taken up with Rs177.01 crore, Venkaiah Naidu said that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has taken up the works as state government has procured the land needed for the purpose.

The present runway was suitable for operations of AB-320/AB-321 type of aircraft and once the runway extension is completed B747-400, B777-300 ER type wide bodied aircraft can land here from anywhere in the world. After the expansion of Vijayawada, Rajamahendravaram and Vijayawada airports, Tirupati works started. With this, all four airports in Andhra Pradesh are being expanded that will take connectivity to new heights in the state.

Kadapa airport has been developing well which witnessed 255 per cent growth in passenger traffic last year. Though the number of passengers is less, the growth was more, said the Vice-President. Similarly, Tirupati airport has witnessed a growth of 56.5 per cent in passengers while Rajamahendravaram registered 104 per cent growth. With the extension works, tourism sector will flourish which can see more employment opportunities, he observed.

Mentioning the country’s development, Venkaiah Naidu said that India has been going to become the third largest economy in the world with the growth rate of 7.3 per cent which is going to reach 7.5 per cent while the world growth rate was only 3 per cent. The neighbouring powerful economy China could have registered only 6.8 per cent growth rate, he pointed out.

“Connectivity was the basic factor for development. With more connectivity through road, rail, air and sea, traffic will increase giving the trade sector a boost. This will lead to economic development and that particular region will develop comprehensively,” he averred.

He mentioned that International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected that Asia Pacific Region to be the driver of passenger growth with more than half of the new passengers are coming from these markets in the next 20 years which necessitates more investments in this sector to expand airports further. He praised Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu and former Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju for their efforts in developing the aviation sector in the country.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayanth Sinha has said that the expansion of runway will make the airport future ready and can accommodate all types of aircraft from anywhere. International operations may not begin tomorrow but in the next few years these can be started.

The number of trips by flights per year in the country were 250 million as they have doubled in the last 60 months and the government want to make them to a billion trips per year which can surpass China’s capacity. He added that they have made committed investments of Rs1 lakh crore to develop airports and in the next five years another Rs 3 lakh crore investments will be made.

While, Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu gave his message through video linkage, AAI member (Operations) IN Murthy, Airport Director M Shivaraju, ZP Chairperson S Geervani, MLAs M Suguna, C Bhaskar Reddy, MLC G Sreenivasulu, In-charge Collector PS Girisha and others took part in the programme.