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Delhi, Mumbai model for airports in 6 non-metro cities

The six airports are Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2018 00:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
delhi airport,Ravi Shankar Prasad,airport
The government had taken the in-principle decision to lease the airports on the lines of those in metros for their operation, management and development.(HT Photo)

Airports at six Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru – will be developed and managed through the public private partnership (PPP) model on the lines of the Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kochi airports, the government said on Thursday.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that the proposal to hand over the airports, presently run by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), to PPP operators had been approved “in principle” at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We have taken a major decision in the direction of reforms. We have taken Indian airports forward through the PPP model. Airports run through PPP mode have consistently figured in the top five Airport Council International rankings,” Prasad said.

“There, the reform initiated in the field of airport management has been globally recognised,” he added. For instance, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), which handled 63.5 million passengers in 2017, putting it on the list of 20 busiest airports in the world, was also the fastest growing major airport over the last four years, according to an internal report by the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).

The report, based on data from Airports Council International, the global body that monitors airport traffic, puts Delhi’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2014 and 2017 at 14.3%. It was the highest among airports handling at least 40 million passengers per annum, comfortably ahead of Incheon, South Korea (10.5%); Pudong in Shanghai, China (10.4%), and Dubai, UAE (7.4%).

Delhi International Airport is a joint venture, formed as a consortium between GMR Group, AAI and Fraport AG & Eraman Malaysia. “We have given in-principle approval for the management, operation and development of Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru airports” on the public-private partnership model, Prasad said, adding that the proposal reflected the reform instincts of the NDA government. The in-principle approval will enable the leasing out of the six airports – presently run by the AAI – for development, operation and management on the PPP model by the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC), an official statement said. The tendering process may begin after the Cabinet nod.

Past attempt to partially privatise airports has failed. The AAI in 2014 issued a tender for the privatisation of Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports but failed to get any bids. The Cabinet had in May approved investments for expansion and upgradation of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow airports at a cost of ~ 2,467 crore, Rs 1,232 crore and Rs 1,383 crore, respectively. But now the process will be overseen by a private party, an official said.

First Published: Nov 08, 2018 21:02 IST