Govt plans to complete privatisation process for 13 airports by March .

The government plans to complete the privatisation process for 13 airports run by the state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) by the end of this fiscal year.

In an interview with ET, AAI chairman Sanjeev Kumar said: “We have sent a list of 13 airports to the aviation ministry that are to be bid out on PPP (public-private partnership). The plan is to complete the bidding of these airports by the end of this fiscal.” 

“The model to be followed for bidding would be the per-passenger revenue model. This model has been used earlier and is successful and the Jewar airport (in Greater Noida) was also bid out on the same model,” he said.

Last month, the board of AAI gave the approval to privatise 13 airports by early next year—six major ones and seven smaller—as part of the government’s ambitious National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP). The Centre has set a target of bringing in private investment of Rs 3,660 crore in airports by the financial year 2024.

Kumar further pointed out that there would be strong interest from investors to grab these projects despite the Covid-19 pandemic as the disease poses short-term effects on businesses and the airports are on offer for 50 years. 

AAI has decided to merge seven small airports with six big ones—Varanasi with Kushinagar and Gaya; Amritsar with Kangra; Bhubaneswar with Tirupati; Raipur with Aurangabad; Indore with Jabalpur; and Trichy with Hubli.

The government’s plan is to liberalise the sector with the privatisation of profit-making airports. AAI’s mandate will be expanded to develop new ones in areas where the private sector may not want to venture through profits earned through revenue share from the privatised airports.

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