The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Wednesday said nine companies took part in the “familiarisation trip” for the airport here on Tuesday, part of plans to have a public-private partnership (PPP) for the operation, management and transfer of the airport.
The parties/bidders who visited the airport on Tuesday included IL & FS Transportation Networks Limited, Essar Projects (India) Ltd, Essel Infraprojects Limited, CIAL, GVK, Fraport Saudi Arabia KAIA, Abdullah Kirimli (Celebi Havacilik Holdings A S), GMR Airports Limited and Sahara Group. “The bidders were accompanied by senior AAI officers, including those from the key infrastructure development corporate headquarters from New Delhi,” AAI said.
The companies’ visit was marked by protests by about 400 Airports Authority Employees Union (AAEU) members.
AAEU says if the airport is privatised, employees would lose job security. The government, however, has assured no jobs would be lost due to the privatisation.
The union says AAI has recently completed two new terminals with an investment of about Rs 2,000 crore and privatisation, at this point, would only raise the user development and airport development fees for customers.
AAEU members plan to take up the matter with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and seek a decision similar to the one the state government had taken on the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) divestment issue.
They said when the Centre had decided to divest stake in NLC, the Tamil Nadu government had come forward and acquired the stake, assuring job security to company employees.
Earlier, AAI had launched two terminals — a domestic and an international one — at an investment of about Rs 2,015 crore. The authority expects the payback period to be about 10 years. The new domestic terminal has a capacity of 10 million, while the international one has a capacity of four million.
The combined area of the two terminals is 133,462 sq metres. The handling capacity in domestic terminal has been expected to go up to 16 million and the international terminal to 7 million per annum, with the new terminals.