The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the transfer of Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur to a joint venture company for being developed into a multi-modal passenger and cargo hub, Information and Broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said after the Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet also approved the setting up of a new airport at Kannur in Kerala through the public-private partnership.
The decision to develop Nagpur into a multi-modal hub came after a Group of Ministers chose Nagpur because of its geographical location, as it is best suited for the purpose.
"In a move that will encourage economic activity in Vidarbha region, the Union Cabinet today approved the transfer of the Nagpur airport to the JVC comprising Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI)," Dasmunsi said.
At present Airports Authority of India owns the airport and holds 49 per cent stake while the remaining stake will be held by MADC.
The Cabinet also approved a new airport at Kerala in Kannur. The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave an in-principle approval to a proposal of the Kerala Government to establish a new airport at Kannur.
The new airport aims to boost tourism and economic activity in the state, Dasmunsi said. Sanction for land acquisition has already been granted for the airport, which will be built over an area of over 2,000 acres with single runway operations.
The proposed airport would also act as a cargo hub for perishables like flowers, vegetables, fruits and seafood.
The new airport will be commissioned at an estimated cost of Rs 930 crore, which excludes land acquisition cost, and the cost of resettlement and rehabilitation, which would be borne by the state, Dasmunsi said.
A joint venture company would be set up between a private strategic partner with a 74 per cent equity and state government entity KINFRA, which would have 26 per cent.
The state government would select the strategic partner through a competitive bidding process with guidance from the Centre.