AP Mulling to Buy Satya Sai International Airport

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Andhra Pradesh Government is contemplating to buy the Puttaparthy International Airport owned by Sri Satya Sai Central Trust. The airport has lost it utility after the demise of iconic spiritual leader Sri Satya Saibaba and reportedly has become a white elephant for the trust. State government which is planning to develop an airport in each district thinking of buying the Puttaparthy airport. The issue has come up in the Investment and Infrastructure (I&I) review chief minister Chandrababu Naidu conducted today. He has asked Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary of I&I to study the matter and submit a report on the issue. In fact, the trust has been thinking of selling off the airport for the past several years due to inability to maintain the huge airport sprawling in an extent of 450 acres. The length of the runway is 2230 meters. Some time back the trust has invited bids for the sale and put the floor price at Rs 600 crore. But there has been no further progress. Except on the occasions when special flights of VVIPS are handled, most of the time the airport remains unused. Now that the state government is planning to develop the Hindupur area of Anantapur district as the IT hub it thinks that buying the airport would give boost to its plans. Puttaparthy International Airport is located just 70 km from Bangalore International Airport. The trust reportedly has also put about 2000 acres of land adjoining the airport  for sale. State which is in the process of developing a land bank for industrialization of the Andhra Pradesh is keen on buying the airport and land, a senior official told Telugu360.com. (JNR)

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