February 5, 2021 12:37:20 am
The government is expected to offer 6-10 airports in the next round of privatisation, for which the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is exploring a new model wherein a profitable airport and a non-profitable airport will be clubbed together before being brought to the table. In an interaction with reporters Thursday, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said that a major advantage of public-private partnership will be that the resources of AAI, which are tied up with these airports, “will be liberated”.
“Based on the experience gained, it is being contemplated by the AAI if we can club a profitable and a non-profitable airport and then go for the PPP process. Because for a profitable airport, a party would come and bid but for a non-profitable airport, a party would not come. So, a new approach is being examined by the AAI, where a profitable and a non-profitable airport will be clubbed and will be taken up as a package,” Kharola said.
Last year, the government privatised six airports — Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangalore, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram — and the AAI Board has approved leasing up of at least six more — Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Amritsar, Raipur, Indore and Trichy — for undertaking operations, management and development through PPP. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget earlier this week, said as a part of its asset monetisation programme, the government privatise AAI-owned airports in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
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