The government has plans to privatise 25 more airports in India over the next five years. The plan, categorized under National Monetization Pipeline (NMP), was revealed by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K. Singh Retd in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
List of airports awaiting privatization
The airports at Bhubaneshwar, Varanasi, Amritsar, Trichy, Indore, Raipur, Calicut, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Patna, Madurai, Surat, Ranchi, Jodhpur, Chennai, Vijayawada, Vadodara, Bhopal, Tirupati, Hubli, Imphal, Agartala, Udaipur, Dehradun and Rajahmundry are the ones earmarked for asset monetization over the years 2022 to 2025.
The 25 airports are identified based on criteria such as annual traffic above the threshold of 0.4 million passengers and airports with an ongoing capital expenditure plan according to the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). In August, the government had said that it was planning to raise Rs 20,782 crore within four years for the purpose.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has identified Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) International Airport in Tamil Nadu among 13 airports for operations, management and development of the airports through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in the public interest and for better control of the airports.
The AAI had sent a list of 13 airports in October 2021 to the aviation ministry to bid out on Public-Private Partnership. The plan was to complete the bidding by the end of this financial year. AAI suggested that the bidding follow the per-passenger revenue model, which was used earlier in the case of Jewar airport.
Plan to bundle airports
The government also planned to bundle the airports -- Indore with Jabalpur, Amritsar with Kangra, Varanasi with Kushinagar and Gaya, Bhubaneswar with Tirupati, Trichy with Hubli, and Raipur with Aurangabad before offering them to prospective bidders.
Even after bringing these airports under the PPP mode of operations, AAI will remain the owner of the airports, and all these airports will revert to AAI once the Concession Period is over.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman first announced the government’s plan to liberalize the aviation sector with privatization in her Budget Speech.