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'Exposure' junkets for AAI staff

Airports officials were on paid exposure trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur airports to make them aware of the current trends, reports Archis Mohan.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2006 02:42 IST

On July 3, several of Airports Authority of India’s middle-level officers visited Singapore’s Changi Airport on an all-expenses paid exposure trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur airports. 

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) -- the private consortium running Delhi Airport since May -- is on a mission: familiarise AAI staff with modern corporate culture of airports abroad.

A refurbished canteen at the domestic Terminal IB with catering provided by the internationally-renowned Radhakrishna Hospitality Services is another first. The canteen offers a variety of food -- from an Indian thali to continental fare at subsidised rates. Primarily aimed at the 2,500-odd Class III and IV employees at the airport, the canteen is a vast improvement over the old one.

Similar canteens will be opened in the next two months at the international Terminal II and cargo. The caterer provides services to several Indian companies and MNCs like Bajaj, Daimler Chrysler, Hyundai and Whirlpool.

“It is about improving the working conditions and introducing these employees to the corporate culture. Mid-level officers run the show at the airport and have the maximum interface with passengers,” said an official. “We were surprised to find that for most of them, it was their first trip outside India,” said the official.

The trip on July 3 and 4 to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur was a part of this exercise. The officers were taken around the two airports and made to undergo the entire experience -- baggage handling, restaurant, budget taxi service, etc. At Changi, these officers attended lecture/demonstration by the airport's management, commercial and engineering divisions.

Several more trips to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong have been planned. Air Traffic Controllers will also take tours abroad.

Already, DIAL has put in place a human resource policy. Sending get well soon cards, offering employment on compensation grounds, sending birthday gifts are some examples of this.

As per the agreement signed between the government and the private consortium, the latter will have to absorb 60 per cent of all the existing AAI staff.