3 more airports to be leased to private firms for 50 years, says govt

The three airports are part of the six airports won by the Adani group under a competitive bidding process
The airports in Jaipur, Thiruvanthapuram and Guwahati airports will be leased to private companies for development, operation and maintenance on a public-private partnership (PPP) model for 50 years, said the government on Wednesday as it sought to open up the aviation sector, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The three airports are part of the six airports won by the Adani group under a competitive bidding process. The group had in February signed a concession agreement with state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) to manage airports in Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangalore but approval regarding the other three had been deferred.

Privatisation of airports, development of maintenance repair and overhaul facilities along with freeing up of defence airspace for passenger aircraft have been proposed as the government’s relief plan to support the aviation sector amid the pandemic.

Privatisation has been challenged in high courts in Assam and Kerala, but a government official told Business Standard on Tuesday that there was no order against the process.

Besides, inter-ministerial discussions are also under way for privatisation of six other airports — Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Raipur and Trichy.



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