The Union home ministry made an announcement following high alert in all airports across the country. After this security has been beefed up at the Vijayawada airport at Gannavaram.
The terror attack that took place in the Uri sector in Kashmir on Sunday prompted the alert. Vijayawada airport director G. Madhusudana Rao gave details about the attack to the media.
He said that "necessary instructions had been issued to the airport staff. Generally, a communication is sent to the airports in south India, by the unit of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, based in Hyderabad."
The airport director said “We have issued necessary instructions in this regard. Keeping the growing importance of Gannavaram airport in view, we had already made a representation to the Union ministry of civil aviation that they need security cover from the Central Industrial Security Force."
"Right now, the local police and paramilitary put together around 100 security staff are guarding the Gannavaram airport," he said.
"The airport is poised for growth in both aircraft and passenger movements by the end of 2016-17, even as backstage work for the construction of the capital city Amaravati is space. The airport operates from dawn to dusk now, and is working towards becoming 24x7 facility, for which steps are being taken with an eye on initially opening the skies to southeast Asian countries," Mr. Madhusudana Rao said recently in an interaction meeting with the traders and businessmen in the city.
The director said that "the immediate goal was to get it declared as a Customs airport which would facilitate the establishment of air connectivity with important Asian cities."
For this to happen, the approval of the ministry of finance was required. Once this happens, the Gannavaram airport would need CISF security.
The number of aircraft movements had gone up to from 1,621 in April-June 2015 to 2,888 in the corresponding quarter of 2016.
The passenger movements between April and June 2015 were 92,103 and it touched 1,43,758 in the current year.
BY M. DIVYA SRI