THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Centre’s move to privatise Trivandrum airport has received a good response from the industry with as many as 11 companies evincing interest. The top-rated companies, including Adani Group, GMR, GVK Group, and Reliance along with other private players, attended the pre-bid conference organised in Delhi.
The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has attended the meeting on behalf of the Kerala government which has formed a special purpose vehicle titled Trivandrum International Airport Ltd (TIAL) to bid for the airport.
The companies which attended the meeting chiefly collected the details regarding the performance of the airport in terms of aeronautical and non-aeronautical sectors. It is not known whether these companies which collected the data would compete in the bidding with each other. However, backroom negotiations are on and strategy for bidding and other vital decisions would be taken based on the pre-bid conference.
While the government sources are tight-lipped on the developments, sources clarified the state government is trying to make some surprise moves in the light of the Centre’s decision to fix some terms for the right of first refusal (ROFR) offered to the state by the Centre.
The Airport Authority of India has made it clear the state would get the benefit of the ROFR only if the bid to be submitted by the state should come within the 10 per cent range of the highest bid.
Meanwhile, the state government’s decision to scout for global partners to strengthen the special purpose vehicle drew flak. The aviation experts pointed out there was no need for a global partner when Cochin International Airport, Kannur International Airport and some other vital government institutions are part of the consortium of companies formed to bid for the airport.
The state government has hired Netherlands-based KPMG, which was roped in by the state government as a consultant for rebuilding the state free of cost, as a technical consultant for assisting the consortium of companies formed by the state to bid for the airport by paying a sum of Rs 1.45 crore as consultancy fee.
The KPMG is trying to exploring the possibility of global players like Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Frankfurt or Flughafen München GmbH as part of the consortium of companies.
On asked whether the state government SPV has any chance to win the bid competing with global players, a senior government officer said it is not sure, but the state is trying its best to win the bid. The sources also confirmed the state government request to reconsider the AAI decision to revise the ROEF terms received no positive response from the Centre.
Bid by Adani Group to inspect airport thwarted
T’Puram: The Adani Group’s attempt to inspect the Trivandrum Airport ahead of its privatisation was thwarted by the employees owing allegiance to the Airport Authority Employees Union on Thursday. Four members of a private consultant company hired by the Adani Group reached the office of the Trivandrum Airport director in the morning. The airport staff who received information about the visit of the private company members laid siege to the office of the airport director.
Later, the airport staff allowed them to leave the office only after they assured they will not hold any inspection in the airport, said S Ajith Kumar, secretary of Airport Authority Employees Union, Trivandrum. Earlier, GMR group had to abandon their attempt to inspect the airport following stiff opposition from the airport staff.