The Government will privatise 20-25 airports in the second phase, Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said. These 25 airports will be significant airports that have annual passenger traffic between 1 and 1.5 million.
AAI will decide the names of the 25 airports and will suggest them to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “They will take the final call,” Guruprasad Mohapatra said.
Last year, the Government decided to privatise six airports in Lucknow, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Mangaluru. Adani Group bagged the contract for six airports by winning the bids with huge margins. The Government considered the ‘passenger fees’ offered by the bidders as the primary criteria.
Mohapatra got transferred to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce. He would assume his charges on August 1, 2019.
In the second phase of planning, the AAI has appointed a consultant to understand relative attractiveness of various airports for private sector investments. “It is open for everyone to bid. There are tremendous possibilities. With this (success in the first round), I am sure that in the next round of privatization we do, I am hoping to see a lot of foreign airports participating in it,” he said.
AAI is expecting participation from foreign airports. According to Mohapatra, airports such as Dublin and Munich showed tremendous interest. “They probably require more confidence and maybe waiting to see the success of the first phase,” he said.
“They have seen that now that it is successfully happening. So, in the second round, we expect signification participation coming from airports like them,” he added.
The Government has approved the leasing out of three airports — Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru – in the first bid. The other three winning bids are awaiting the decision. Meanwhile, Kerala has expressed its lack of interest in privatizing the Trivandrum airport.