India's GMR group, which successfully completed an airport modernisation project in Istanbul last year, is now looking at developing an airport in Maldives as part of its plan to expand international business.
The company has already done the due diligence of the project to upgrade the Hanimaadhoo airport at Upper North Province of Maldives which is nearly 300 kilometres from the national capital Male.
"GMR would like to expand its international profile and currently, we are looking at opportunities at the airport in Maldives," P S Nair, CEO of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR-led joint venture company, told PTI in an interview here in southern Hainan province.
DIAL is currently working towards the modernisation and restructuring of the Delhi Airport. Nair was here to receive an award given to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi by Airport Council International, the apex body of airports across the world.
"We have already carried out the preliminary survey of the project and now we are preparing to participate in the bidding process," he said.
In October last year, a consortium led by GMR Group had completed building the new terminal of the Istanbul Sabia Gokcen International airport at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore.
Sabiha Gokcen International airport, which is now being operated by the GMR Group, along with its partners Malaysian Airports Holding Berhard (MAHB) and Limak Insaat San Ve Tic A S (Limak) of Turkey, is the third airport being constructed by GMR group after Hyderabad and Delhi airports.
When asked whether GMR was looking at a permanent international partner for its overseas projects, Nair said Malaysian Airports Holding Berhard has been GMR's partner in three projects in Delhi, Hyderabad and Istanbul and it would like to continue its association with the company. "In a way they are our international partner".
On the newly built T3 terminal at IGI Airport which is scheduled for inauguration on July 3 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nair said the terminal will be at par with best of the terminals worldwide.
"Development of T3 will continue till 2016. We will add passenger capacity in IGI airport beyond 2016 also. So that will be another module. We have a system of reviewing our masterplan every five years. We will review the master plan and depending on need we will expand infrastructure," he said.
Nair said inauguration of T3 will mark a new high for airport services in India which will also help the growth of overall aviation market in the country.