Centre to privatise Calicut airport
Mumbai: The Central Government has taken action to privatise 10 more airports including Kozhikode in the next phase of privatisation. It is learned that basic facilities in the airports will be developed through public private partnership model and these airports will be leased out for 50 years.
Apart from Kozhikode, airports in Varanasi, Patna, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Coimbatore, Trichi, Indore and Raipur are considered for privatisation in the next phase.
These airports under Airport Authority of India has recorded 15 lakh to 41 lakh passengers in last financial year. Airports except Indore and Raipur are running profitably.
Last year, the government had decided to privatise airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati for operation, management and development through public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The Adani Group were the highest bidder for Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow, Mangaluru and Jaipur airports. Amidst protest, privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport is not implemented yet.
But the centre has listed Kozhikode airport for privatisation. Meanwhile, the authority reported that a final decision regarding this is yet to be taken. They only collected the data of the airports.
“Airport Authority of India has asked to report on capital of airports, capacity, income and services. This is only a primary action. A final decision is not taken yet," said Kozhikode airport director K Srinivas Rao.
Key Infrastructure Development (KID) established for the development of airports through PPP model is carrying out the procedures for it. KID has prepared the list of airports too.
Dr Azad Moopen lauds centre
Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, appreciated the centre’s decision to privatize 10 airports in India, including the Calicut International Airport .
“The inclusion of Calicut International Airport by the Union Government among the airports for privatization is a very positive milestone in its history. The airport which is on top in passenger traffic and revenue in the country has been struggling due to short runway and service standard. The extension of the runway length to 4000 meters is the top priority which will allow wide bodied jets to start regular service to Calicut. The privatization will also improve the service levels to that seen in many privatized airports,” he said.
“I hope and pray that one of the experienced private airport operators in India who run the Delhi Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports at truly international standards will take this up. This will be a dream come true for millions of Gulf passengers and will also help in development of domestic travel and tourism. On behalf of the Gulf Malayalis from Malabar, I express sincere thanks to Minister of State for External Affairs Sri V Muraleedharan to whom we had requested for intervention in development of Calicut Airport during his recent visit to Dubai,” he added.
(with added inputs from PTI)