Visakhapatnam International Airport (IATA: VTZ, ICAO: VOVZ) is a customs airport serving the Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) from Visakhapatnam and is the biggest and busiest airport in the State. It operates as a civil enclave on an Indian Navy airfield. The airport has experienced mass growth in the last decade, with the construction of a new terminal and runway, and the implementation of international routes to Dubai and Singapore. The airport has an air traffic control system managed by the Navy. Its new terminal building, inaugurated in February 2009, has three jet bridges.
Before redevelopment, the airport saw low numbers of air traffic: In 1999 it was served with one daily flight. On 16 June 2007, T. Subbarami Reddy, the then Union Minister announced that the airport was fully prepared for international flights. A new and extended runway was built to land the Airbus A320 operated by Air Deccan. There were appeals to make Vizag airport international ever since. The next month, JetLite and Air Deccan started flights to Visakhapatnam. Union minister of state for HRD, D.Purandeswari announced that after discussions with the defence minister M.M.Pallam Raju and Airport Authority of India, a decision was made to begin international and intercontinental operations from Visakhapatnam Airport.
A new terminal building was inaugurated on 20 February 2009. However, it was not operational until 27 March 2009, when the landing of a JetLite airliner from Delhi marked the commencement of operations. The runway in use was originally 6,000 ft (1,800 m). The Indian Union Minister of State for Mines T Subbirami Reddy inaugurated 10,500 ft (3,200 m) and 60 m (200 ft)-wide runway on 15 June 2007.
With the installation and calibration of the instrument landing system, Visakhapatnam got night landing capabilities in July 2007, with the Dornier of the Indian Navy taking off from the landing facility. The night landing facility became operational from 30 March 2008 for commercial airlines with SpiceJet being the first. A memorandum of understanding between the Airports Authority of India and Sathyabama University was signed to start a Flying Club and Aeronautical Institute at the airport.
The airport was extensively damaged by Cyclone Hudhud, which struck on 12 October 2014 with winds exceeding 185 km/h (115 mph), inundating the runway and destroying navigational aids. The terminal building roof also suffered substantial damage. The airport had been shutdown on the 11 October as a precautionary measure and naval and other flights carrying relief materials were the first to land on Tuesday 14 October. The airport re-commenced partial operations from Friday 17 October after electric supply was restored to the airport on Thursday 16 October. AAI expects to restore the airport to full operations within the span of three months.