Fairfax, Adani Group and GMR have expressed interest in developing the ₹2,203-crore greenfield airport near Sipasarubali in Puri.

The tender for a public-private partnership (PPP) was floated by the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) in February, this year.

According to two people in the know, the three companies participated in the second pre-bid round held on Friday. “This was the second round of the pre-bid. The meeting was attended by representatives from Adani Airports, Fairfax and GMR Group among others who expressed interest,” said sources, adding, “Several questions on the tenure of completion of the airport, requirements of permissions from respective authorities and fee structure were discussed during the meeting.”

The authorities will respond to these queries by May 10. The potential bidders have access to the data room for them to be able make a bid for the tender. The bids have to be submitted by June 4 and will be opened on June 5. 

Project cost

The project cost, according to IDCO, is ₹2,203 crore. The airport will have a capacity of handling 4.6 million passengers per annum (MPPA) in phase 1. In phase 2, it is expected to be 10.18 MPPA and in phase 3, it will be an additional 16.69 MPPA.

According to a document reviewed by businessline, potential developers also asked if the airport will be developed as an international airport in the first phase itself. IDCO clarified that subject to regulatory approvals, the airport is expected to be international in the first phase itself.

Details provided by IDCO reveal that the total land area of the airport will be around 1,184 acres out of which 100 acres is earmarked for city side development. The land has been valued at ₹300 crore. Meanwhile, IDCO will provide a 4-lane access road to the airport. 

The three companies control majority of the airports in India. The Adani group is the largest airport operator in India. The company operates airports in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram. The Adani Group has said it will invest ₹60,000 crore over the next 10 years to develop its airports into aviation hubs and commercial attractions for city residents.

Fairfax India Holdings Corp. led by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa owns a majority stake in Bangalore International Airport Ltd. Meanwhile, GMR Group operates Delhi International Airport, Hyderabad International Airport, and Manohar International Airport, Goa. Further, the company is developing an international greenfield airport at Bhogapuram, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh.

Proximity to Puri

An official in commerce and transport department of Odisha said: “The location of the airport at Sipasarubali near Girala in Brahmagiri Mouza was chosen due to its close proximity to Puri and its famous Jagannath Temple and other tourist attractions. This airport will thus significantly improve connectivity to this important pilgrimage and tourist city, further boosting its tourism potential.”

“The new airport is expected to help cater to the growing demand of international investors visiting the nearby Mega Industrial hubs and IT hub at Bhubaneswar, positioning Puri as a significant player in the country’s trade and commerce space,” the official added.

According to the AAI data, the major airport in Odisha, Bhubaneshwar airport has witnessed a 26.6 per cent hike in passenger demand in FY24.

Adani Group, Fairfax, GMR and IDCO did not respond to businessline’s query.