AAI (Airports Authority of India) is the prime operator of the Airports body in India having stakes in the private airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. AAI operates under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Government of India is accountable for managing and maintaining the Civil Aviation Infrastructure in the country.
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected jobs all around the world, one of the worst affected sectors is the Aviation industry.
Union Minister, Prakash Keshav Javadekar announced the decisions affirmed by the Cabinet including the one related to aviation. AAI’s proposal has been passed therefore the 3 Airports – Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram will now be on the lease for 50 years.
What was the decision about privatization?
The privatization of the airports is expected to give a major boost to infrastructure, efficiency, and income revenues.
On February 14, 2020, Adani Enterprises had acquired Ahemdabad, Mangaluru, and Lucknow airports by placing the highest bids in the bidding process.
The decision taken by the government was originally to privatize 12 airports of the AAI. In the first phase, the decision for Allahabad, Mangalore, Guwahati, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Lucknow Airports was already taken.
In May, the Civil Aviation Ministry was demanded to privatize six more airports in the 2nd round. The second round of Airport auctions included Varanasi, Amritsar, Indore, Raipur, Bhubneshwar, and Tiruchirappalli as per the reports.
Although the privatization has been challenged in Kerala and Assam High Courts, there has been no order noted, yet.
What is the bigger picture?
The government plans on privatizing 30-35 airports within 5 years.
Prakash Javadekar declared that the Rs 1070 crore obtained would be put into use by the Airport Authority of India for developing the airports in smaller cities. One big benefit will also be better facilities that will be offered.
Civil Aviation Minister also mentioned that everyone must put their heads together to ensure that work is executed in the correct, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly manner.
He also added, “I am extremely confident that both the domestic Civil Aviation and International Civil Aviation through bilateral air bubbles will revive very soon.”
He believes that the travel would achieve at least 50% of the usual travel traffic and that would be back to the pre-pandemic level by the year-end.