THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union Cabinet approved leasing out six airports, including Thiruvananthapuram airport, in the country through PPP. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the ‘in-principle’ approval for leasing out six airports of AAI viz. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development through the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
According to a government release, it has been decided to lease out six airports in the first phase. This is expected to enhance the revenue to AAI and increase economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure.
The increase in domestic and international air travel in the country combined with congestion in most airports, and the strong traffic growth at the 5 airports privatised over a decade ago has attracted the attention of several international operators and investors. The airport sector is also the top contender among infrastructure sectors in terms of international interest.
International operators and investors prefer brownfield airport expansion opportunities having more than 3-4 million passenger capacity. The airport sector may provide an immediate opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) by the PPP approach. In this background, the decision to lease out the six airports was taken, the release said. Further, PPP in infrastructure projects brings efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.
PPP in airport infrastructure projects has also brought world-class infrastructure at airports, delivery of efficient and timely services to passengers, augmenting revenue stream to the AAI without making any investment, etc. of these, for development of Greenfield Airports at Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Presently, airports being managed under PPP model include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin.
The PPP airports in India have been ranked among the top 5 in their respective categories by the Airports Council International (ACI) in terms of Airport Service Quality (ASQ).