Over 1,000 members of employees’ union to oppose privatisation of Chennai airport

Over 1,000 members of Airports Authority Employees’ Union in Chennai may go on mass leave on June 21, opposing the government’s move to hand over the operations and maintenance of Chennai airport to a private operator.

“It is atrocious to privatise Chennai airport after Airports Authority of India (AAI) has invested over Rs. 2, 000 crore. Not just Chennai, even Kolkata and many other non-metros have been modernised by AAI but the government wants to privatise all of these,” said one of the members of AAEU.

Members of the International Airports Authority Officers’ Association (IAAOA) may also extend external support for this, said an AAI official.

This move may affect some services and functioning of the airport on the day, said another AAI official.

“The power and water supply may be affected. So, now we have to make alternate arrangements and ensure that the routine is not affected inside the terminals,” he said.

Last week, the government formed a key infrastructure development cell to speed up the introduction of the public-private partnership mode and engage a private operator to manage a number of AAI-run airports in the country. In May, the minister for civil aviation Ajit Singh announced that global bids would soon be floated to professionally manage Chennai and Kolkata airports.

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