The Union Home Ministry has raised objections to allowing private players in ground handling activities at Indian airports, a move that would find support from the Left parties, which have been protesting airport privatisation.
The ministry is understood to have written a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry sounding its reservations against private participation in ground handling activities, official sources said.
Ground handling work has two basic parts - passenger handling at the landside of the airport and ramp handling that includes loading and unloading of aircraft and aircraft handling.
The Left parties have been opposing privatisation of airports on several counts, including on security issues while pointing to the prevailing global security scenario.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has been thinking of restricting ground handling to three players. These players, the ministry contemplates, would be Airports Authority of India (AAI), one of the state-owned carriers Air India or the Indian and an independent agency to be chosen by a competitive bidding process.
Currently, besides AAI and the airlines, Cambatta is one company which has been carrying out these activities at several Indian airports.