Employees say it is unfair to hand over Chennai airport to private operator after spending over Rs. 2,000 crore on it

Several employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) staged a demonstration on Thursday opposing the government’s decision to privatise Chennai airport. They wanted to know why, after spending over Rs. 2,300 crore to modernise the airport, its management and operations should be handed over to a private operator.

“Airports like Delhi and Mumbai that have been privatised charge exorbitant User Development Fees (UDF) from passengers. If Chennai airport is handed over to a private party, they would make at least Rs. 1,000 crore a year through UDF alone. It is absolutely unfair to sell the airport to a private party,” said L. George, regional secretary of the Airports Authority Employees’ Union.

He said they would strengthen their protest in stages and would also go on a hunger strike soon.

“We plan to meet Chief Minister Jayalalitha in this regard and seek her help to stop the privatisation of this airport,” he added.

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