The government will begin the process for bringing in private partners to run six airports, including those in Chennai and Kolkata, as early as next week and is open to giving 100% control to the private investors to manage these airports.
The civil aviation ministry is likely to issue a Request for Qualification (RFQ) document for Chennai and Lucknow airports next week, aviation secretary KN Srivastava said. “The RFQ for the other four airports — Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Guwahati — would be issued in the coming weeks,” he added.
The six airports are owned and managed by state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) currently.
The aviation ministry had earlier proposed to privatise these airports. It would now appoint private companies to run these airports.
AAI may not make an equity contribution at these six airport unlike the model adopted for Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. AAI has 26% share in private airports of Delhi and Mumbai and 13% in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
“We are open to giving 100% stake to private parties,” he said.
Asked why AAI, which has spent thousands of crores for modernisation and development of airports, won’t have equity participation, sources said even in existing private airports, AAI has no say in the operation and management. “So, why should AAI put in equity?” a senior official said. AAI will, however, get revenue share from these airports.
The six airports would be given on concession basis to the private parties for 30 years.
After RFQ process, which is a response-seeking route to help identify those interested in bidding, a Request for Interest (RFI) would be issued. RFQ would include the broad parameters of the privatisation process.
AAI modernised the Kolkata and Chennai airports at a cost of Rs. 2,325 crore and Rs. 2,015 crore respectively.