The restriction on DIAL, which operates the IGI Airport, under the new civil aviation policy from further utilising airport land to provide non- aeronautical services came up for challenge in Delhi High Court on Monday. Agreeing to examine the matter, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice V Kameswar Rao issued notice to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) seeking their response on the plea of Delhi International Airport Ltd, a joint venture of GMR Group and AAI, claiming that its exclusion under the policy was wrong.
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The National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) 2016, which came into effect on June 15, restricts existing airports run under public private partnership (PPP) from commercially utilising their land for providing non-aeronautical services.
However, this restriction is not applicable to future airports run under PPP or the existing and upcoming ones which would be run by AAI, the petition claimed.
It said the new policy provides for liberalising end-use restriction on commercial use of land by existing and future airports of the AAI and future airports under PPP.
DIAL in its plea said it had written to the ministry to remove the exclusion, but the government had rejected its representation on the ground that post-bid benefit cannot be extended to existing PPP airports who have executed agreements with AAI.
It has contended that while rejecting its representation, the government ignored its own Airport Infrastructure Policy of 1997, prevalent at the time of award of concession, and AAI Act, “none of which impose restriction on land use at airport for commercial purpose”.
DIAL has further claimed in its plea that under the Operation Management Development Agreement (OMDA) it had executed with the government, it was entitled to use five per cent of total land for non-aeronautical services.
It sought striking down of the exclusion of existing PPP airports under the NCAP and an order holding that the exclusion would not apply to it. The court listed the matter for hearing on January 9 next year.