After multiple attempts to provide a new airport to people in and around Nellore district, former Andhra Pradesh (AP) Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu planned the project in end of 2014. Getting nod from concerned Civil Aviation authorities, the Andhra Pradesh Government identified a 2600-acre land for the project. With limited cooperation from locals, the project was abandoned. This did not deter Naidu’s dreams and he tried to initiate the project once again.
Towards the end of N. Chandrababu Naidu’s tenure AP had 6 operational airports and a private airport at Puttaparthi. Numerous other airports were under pipeline. These include Greenfield International Airport at Bhogapuram, Vizianagaram district, an airport spread over 980 acres in Orvakallu in Kurnool district, an airstrip in Kuppam, an airport in Donakonda, Prakasam district and the one in Dagadarthi, Nellore.
In July 2018, it was announced that Nellore International Airport Private Limited (NIAL) will commence construction in early 2019. The airport had a planned capacity of two million passengers and 55,000 tonnes of cargo annually. As committed, on 11 January 2020 N. Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation stone of the project. Not long after, elections were announced, and the project came to an abrupt halt. Once, the YSRCP came to power in May 2019 the project construction did not resume. Finally, in August of 2019 the Government terminated its contract with NIAL to develop the Dagadarthi Nellore Airport.
The Nellore airport project though an ambitious one, had potential to sustain the AP economy which had suffered severe impact post-bifurcation of the State. There is no ray of hope at the moment as the project remains shelved. Coupled with the lax attitude of the State Government, it is certain that the project will not meet the earlier deadline of December 2021. Seems like residents of Nellore and around will have to wait for a few more years to see this project to take off.