Going ahead with its plans for privatisation of six more airports, the Government on Tuesday invited pre-qualification bids from private parties for managing the Chennai and Lucknow airports by issuing request for qualification (RFQs).

An official statement issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry said the RFQ for selection of the prospective bidders for Chennai and Lucknow airports has been invited. The bids for four other airports of Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Guwahati would also be invited soon.

The RFQ was issued following the Inter-Ministerial task force recommendations for operation, management and development of select airports on public private partnership (PPP) basis. The management and operations of the airports would be awarded to private players for a concession period of 30 years.

``Bids will be invited for the project on the basis of the premium in the form of revenue share to the AAI for award of the concession. The premium shall constitute the sole criteria for evaluation of bids. The selected bidder shall be required to protect the interest of the existing employees of the airports,’’ the statement added.

No applicant will be entitled for the award of more than two airports out of the six which are to be awarded by the AAI. Applicants will not be eligible for award of more than one airport from Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad.

The RFQ will be preceded by the issuance of request for interest (RFI) and request for proposal (RFP). The government has already expressed its willingness to allow 100 percent equity of private companies to manage the airports, but negotiation on the same may come later on in the concession process.

The AAI currently has 26 per cent equity each in Delhi and Mumbai airports and 13 per cent each in Hyderabad and Bangalore airports. AAI gets 49 percent share in the revenue generated by the Delhi and Mumbai airports operating companies.

``The concessionaire can levy tariffs for aeronautical services including the user development fee (UDF) as may be determined by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA). The RFP would indicate the parameters for determining charges for aeronautical services as well as the UDF,’’ the statement added.

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