Govt looks to invite US firms for airport development, seeks to make segment more competitive

Mumbai: The government is looking for participation from American companies in the development of airports as it seeks to make the segment more competitive, a top civil aviation ministry official said on Thursday.

The US companies are present in a large way in the area of aviation technology in the country, particularly in safety and security.

"One area of cooperation with the US is airport development. We are also looking at inviting the US companies and to provide competition in the development of airports," civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The government had recently said it plans to invest close to Rs 1 lakh crore in the next five years for capacity augmentation and development of greenfield airports.

As the civil aviation ministry firms up plans to achieve one-billion passenger trips per annum over the next 15-20 years, junior minister for aviation Sinha had last week said the Airport Authority of India alone would infuse Rs 20,178 crore in the next four to five years for development of infrastructure at 21 airports.

In addition, a capex outlay of Rs 50,000 crore is expected to be infused for the development of greenfield airports such as Navi Mumbai, Jewar in UP and Mopa in Goa, he
had said.

The aviation secretary also said that the ministry as part of removing regulatory uncertainties in the area of airport development was planning to have some kind of tariff structure in the bidding documents itself.

The tariff regulator AERA determines airport tariffs five years at a time, which is a regulatory exercise. But then it also leads to regulatory uncertainty as the airport developer does not know what tariff will be fixed by the regulator, he said.

"Any uncertainty is not good for business. Therefore, what we are now proposing is that the airport bidding document itself should have the tariff indicated in it, so
that there will not be a need to go back to the regulator," Choubey said.

Bidding document for the Jewar airport, which secured 'in-principle' approval from the aviation ministry early this week, will have indicative tariff structure, according to Choubey.


Updated Date: May 11, 2018 08:47 AM

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