The decision to go in for private participation in modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports was taken to keep Airports Authority of India (AAI) free to develop 35 non-metro airports, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Thursday.
"The joint venture route for Mumbai and Delhi airports modernisation programme was taken up to free AAI to take up development and modernisation works of 35 non-metro airports," he said during Question Hour in Lok Sabha.
Besides, a decision on the route to modernise Kolkata and Chennai airports would be taken in the next few months, the minister said.
On these two metro airports, Patel said, "We are in discussions with respective state governments. The Chief Minister (of Tamil Nadu) has written to me and the West Bengal government has also sent a communication."
"The Prime Minister's Committee on Infrastructure is also looking into it. We hope for an early resolution in the next few months", he said.
On modernisation of 35 non-metro airports, the minister said while AAI would develop the air-side of these airports and run them, public-private partnership could be considered for city-side development.
Regarding Ahmedabad airport, he said the environmental clearance for its development was received on July 31 and work would start at the earliest.