'Airport projects to be handed over to JVs'
Two JV cos for modernising Delhi, Mumbai airports, would be handed over the airports by the second half of 2005-06.india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 15:49 IST
Two joint venture companies for modernising Delhi and Mumbai airports, comprising Airports Authority of India (AAI) and selected private parties, would be handed over the airports by the second half of 2005-06 fiscal.
An 'in principle' decision has also been taken to modernise the Chennai airport through the JV route, the Economic Survey for 2005-06, tabled in Parliament today, said.
Due to monopoly nature of the airports and their economic importance, efforts are afoot to set up an independent Airport Economic Regulator for tariff setting and monitoring of performance standards, it said.
As per preliminary estimation, the capital investment for modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports would be Rs 7,961 crore and Rs 6,131 crore respectively, over a period of 20 years in four stages of five years each.
These estimates, the document said, would not include the cost of likely relocation of some of the assets and removal of encroachments.
On the fleet acquisition by public and private airlines, it said government had approved the acquisition of 43 Airbus planes by Indian, 50 Boeings for Air India, 18 for Air India Express and a total of 51 aircraft for seven private carriers during the past year.
Regarding other airports in the country, the Economic Survey said the contruction of greenfield airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore had begun and 'in princple' approval granted to set up a similar airport in Goa.
Approvals have also been received for construction of new international terminals at Ahmedabad and Travandrum airports, while proposals for construction of greenfield airports at Navi Mumbai, Kannur, Ladhowal near Ludhiana and Pakyong near Gangtok were in the pipeline.
The AAI was also considering development non-metro airports and appointed financial consultants and global technical advisors for ten airports at Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Goa, Guwahati, Lucknow, Madurai, Jaipur, Mangalore, Trivandrum and Udaipur. Techno-economic feasibility study for these ten airports have already been received.
The Survey said the work would be taken up in a phased manner at an estimated cost of Rs 1,437 crore for the first phase between 2006 and 2008.
Besides these, 15 more non-metro airports have been identified. These were Agatti, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Nagpur, Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, Indore, Khajurahho, Patna, Port Blair, Rajkot, Trichy, Vadodara, Varanasi and Vizag.
The process of appointing technical advisor and financial consultants for these airports is nearing completion. Five more airports at Agartala, Dehradun, Imphal, Ranchi and Raipur have also been identified for carrying out techno-economic feasibility study.
The document said the approximate cost for development of these non-metro airports would be about Rs 5,000 crore.
Observing that new policy initiatives have had a marked impact upon airline traffic, the Survey said the entry of low-cost carriers, offering no-frill flights at 30-35 per cent cheaper fares, has changed the profile of air passengers.
Domestic and international traffic grew by 24.2 per cent and 18 per cent respectively in April-December 2005, it said.
Private airlines now accounted for 69 per cent of domestic traffic.
During April-December 2005, international and domestic cargo traffic recorded a growth of 11.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.
This growth was the second highest in the world, next to China, for the second consecutive year.