AAI may go in for privatisation of Chennai airport

Will take cue from the exercise at Jaipur, Ahmedabad

Updated - June 22, 2018 07:47 am IST

Published - June 22, 2018 01:29 am IST - CHENNAI

 An aircraft lands at the Chennai airport. File

An aircraft lands at the Chennai airport. File

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) may revive plans to privatise the operation and maintenance of the Chennai airport, a top source in New Delhi has said.

The AAI has already set in motion privatisation of operation and maintenance of airports at Jaipur and Ahmedabad. “If this exercise is successful at these two airports, we will consider doing it in other airports, including Chennai,” he said.

Five years ago, the AAI planned to privatise the Chennai airport. Several companies, including GMR, GVK and Frankfurt airport operator Fraport, had evinced interest in the project. But the plan was dropped in 2015, and the AAI went ahead with planning for the phase-II modernisation of the airport.

Second airport

The top source also maintained that there was an urgent need to zero in on the location for a second airport for the city. “We have been writing to the Tamil Nadu government for two years now, urging them to find a site at the earliest. This is a land intensive project and the sooner they find a site, the better. Because it will take a few years to get the necessary approvals and then start the actual project,” he added. A host of bodies, including the Ministries of Civil Aviation, Defence, Home Affairs and Environment and Forests, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security need to give their approval for the project to begin. Earlier, the State wanted to develop a second airport at Sriperumbudur. But due to non-availability of land, it considered four sites, including Walajabad and Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district and Alamathy and Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district. But sources said it would look at other areas too before finalising a site.

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