Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, on Tuesday, announced that global bids would soon be floated for the professional management of the airports at Chennai and Kolkata through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

“These two airports, recently thrown open for public use, have to be managed professionally by engaging private partners through the PPP or joint venture route. The offers in this regard will be invited through an international bid very soon,’’ Mr. Singh told reporters here.

Mr. Singh also made it clear that he had not received any proposal from the Kerala Government on setting up a state airline—Air Kerala.

The Kolkata and Chennai airports are owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which recently modernised them. The Chennai International Airport was modernised at a cost of Rs. 2,100 crore while the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata was refurbished for Rs. 2,350 crore. These airports are the highest revenue earners for AAI.

New regulator

Mr. Singh also said the draft CAA Bill was ready and would be taken up by the Cabinet very soon. The Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session.

It had also been decided to create Air Navigation Services Corporation (ANS), which would be hived off from the AAI. The government also proposed to create a separate Aviation Security Force to take care of airport security, which is presently handled by the Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF).

“A Cabinet note has been prepared. The proposal has been finalised by the Ministry and has been circulated for comments from other Ministries,” he added.

He said talks were on with Uttar Pradesh government to develop airports at Faizabad, Moradabad and Meerut.

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