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Privatisation of airport operations, management to commence soon

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 04, 2021

Pradeep Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation   -  The Hindu

The airports will be given to the private sector for 50 years

The third stage of involving the private sector in airport operations, management and development with the Airports Authority India (AAI) is likely to begin in the first quarter of this year.

“AAI is examining giving non-profitable airports and profit-making airports as a package. We could see six to 10 airports being taken up,” Pradeep Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Thursday. The airports will be given to the private sector for 50 years, he added.

He added that Budget 2021-22 had provided an increase of 35 per cent at ₹600 crore for the regional air connectivity scheme, against ₹430 crore in the previous budget.

AAI officials said that it had raised ₹2,100 crore from banks for meeting its capital expenditures for the year. The Secretary added that the funds had been raised on very good terms without getting into details.

They also said, the share agreement transferring Mumbai airport to the Adani Group had been approved.

Talking about this year’s budget the Secretary said that it had given several tax incentives for aircraft leasing companies to set up operations in GIFT city in Ahmedabad.

On the issue of fare bands on domestic flight tickets, Kharola said that they will not be a permanent feature, adding that once the number of flyers comes back to pre-Covid levels they could be done away with.

When domestic flights restarted on May 25 after a gap of two months the government introduced fare bands so that a passenger did not have to exorbitant fares. The current fare band is in place till March 31.

Published on February 04, 2021

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