The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has reworked the bidding parameters for awarding operation and maintenance works of Ahmedabad and Jaipur aerodromes to private players amid the process hanging fire for over a year. Seeking to attract more bidders, the contracts would now be awarded for 15 years instead of the 10-year time frame while the same entity could be awarded the two projects.
Along with putting in place revised parameters for bidders, the AAI has again extended the deadline for submitting the bids for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports. With the deadline being extended for the sixth time in nearly one year, the process for awarding the contracts would be further delayed.
The AAI, which owns the Ahmedabad and the Jaipur airports, has tweaked various bidding parameters, including allowing the same private player to carry out O&M of the two aerodromes in case that entity wins the bids. “It is clarified… that there shall be no restriction on one bidder (whether individually or as part of a consortium) being awarded both the contracts,” the AAI said in a recent notification while making changes to the original bidding documents for the two projects.
In another significant move, the tenure of the contract for O&M works has been increased to 15 years. This means that the winning bidder can carry out the work for 15 years as against the earlier limit of 10 years. Among others, the AAI has scrapped incremental per passenger revenue or increase in per passenger revenue for each year of the tenure) owed by it to the O&M provider. There would be a fixed fee structured along with a variable amount rather than an annual incremental fee hike.
The bidding process for the two airports’ O&M works would be conducted separately but simultaneously. With the revisions, the last date for submitting the bids has been extended by nearly three months to September 18. Earlier, the deadline was June 29.
Late last year, the AAI had invited Request for Proposal (RFP) from bidders for operation and maintenance of “select areas” of the Jaipur and the Ahmedabad airports. The move came after the AAI had rejected twice Singapore’s Changi Airport’s proposal to operate and maintain the Jaipur and the Ahmedabad airports on the grounds that it was “unfeasible” and not commercially viable for the government airport operator.
The proposal to rope in Singapore’s Changi airport for the projects was first floated during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the island nation in November 2015. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed by the AAI and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise at that time. The proposed contracts are for operating and maintaining passenger terminal building, airport operations control centre, fire control room, passenger boarding bridges, apron area (not including the apron areas of the cargo terminal) and surface car park, among others, at the two airports.