An Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) will be set up shortly. On Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel revealed that the government would introduce the bill setting it up during Parliament's budget session next year.
With major plans for the privatisation of airport infrastructure in the pipeline, this authority will fix tariffs at airports, including the landing charges private players can charge, based on the existing facilities at each airport.
At the Aerodrome India 2006, Patel said the Group of Ministers (GoM), which examined the matter, had worked out all the details, including those pertaining to airfields presently under the defence forces.
The AERA will have three members. A representative from the defence sector may be included in it, the minister said. It will monitor the performance of each airport, and ensure that the standards maintained are commensurate with the tariff charged by the airport promoter.
While Delhi and Mumbai airports were handed over to private consortia in a joint venture with the Airport Authority of India (AAI), financial bids are being invited from five shortlisted consultants to select joint venture partners for city-side development of 35 non-metro airports.
Eleven consultants had expressed their interest of which five were shortlisted. Financial bids have been invited.
The airports listed for modernisation are Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Udaipur, Trivandrum, Lucknow, Goa, Madurai, Mangalore, Agatti, Aurangabad, Khajuraho, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Vishakapatnam, Trichy, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Patna, Port Blair, Varanasi, Agartala, Dehradun, Imphal, Ranchi, Raipur, Agra, Chandigarh, Dimapur, Jammu and Pune.
For the remaining 10 non-metro airports, Aiports Authority of India is doing the techno- economic feasibility study, he said, adding the government proposed to complete the modernisation and expansion of these airports by 2010-2011.