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Govt planning to privatise 20-25 airports in second phase: AAI chairman

The AAI will decide the names of these airports with annual passenger traffic over 1.5 million soon and recommend them to the Ministry of Civil Aviation

twitter-logoPTI | July 26, 2019 | Updated 22:31 IST
Govt planning to privatise 20-25 airports in second phase: AAI chairman
Six airports were privatised in the first round. Representational image

After deciding to privatise six major airports in February this year, the Central government is planning to privatise 20-25 more in the next phase with an expectation that there will be a significant participation by foreign airports, said AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra on Friday.

Adani Group had won the bids to operate, manage and develop the six airports Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati which the Airports Authority of India had put up for privatisation in the first round.

"We have privatised six airports... We are now planning to privatise 20-25 airports in next phase," said Mohapatra at a press briefing here.

He said the AAI will decide the names of these airports with annual passenger traffic over 1.5 million soon and recommend them to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

"They will take a final call," he said.

In the latest bureaucratic shuffle, Mohapatra was transferred to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce.

On Friday, Mohapatra said he would take charge as DPIIT secretary on August 1.

Explaining about the planning related to the second round of privatisation, he said, "What we have done is we have appointed a consultant to understand relative attractiveness of various airports for private sector investments."

"It is open for everyone to bid. There are tremendous possibilities. With this (success in first round), I am sure that in the next round of privatisation we do, I am hoping to see a lot of foreign airports participating in it."

He said airports such as Dublin and Munich showed tremendous interest but they "probably required more confidence" and waited to see the success of the first round of privatisation.

"They have seen that now that it is successfully happening. So, in the second round, we expect signification participation coming from airports like them," he said.

In November last year, the government had decided to privatise airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati for operation, management and development through public-private partnership (PPP) model.

In February, the Adani Group bagged contract for all six airports by winning the bids with huge margins.

The AAI had chosen the winner on the basis of the "per-passenger fee" offered by the bidders.

On July 3, the Union Cabinet had approved the leasing out of Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports to Adani Group. The cabinet is yet to approve the leasing out of the other three.

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