Kerala

ATIAL gears up to take over capital airport

Along with Thiruvananthapuram airport (in picture), the Union Cabinet had approved the leasing of Jaipur and Guwahati airports on August 19.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Adani Trivandrum International Airport Ltd (ATIAL) of the Adani Group is gearing up to take over the 88-year-old airport from the Airports Authority of India as part of executing the 50-year lease agreement between the AAI and the ATIAL.

Meanwhile, the next move of the State government is being keenly watched. The State will have to sign a State support agreement to hand over the airport to the AEL and the stance of the State is crucial. The government is likely to back out from the acquisition of eight hectares needed from Vallakkadavu-Vayyamoola area for a ₹600-crore integrated terminal on the city side.

“Already, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs have been approached for the mandatory security clearance for the board of directors of the ATIAL,” sources associated with the leasing process told The Hindu.

Once the security clearance is obtained, the lease agreement will be executed. After signing the pact, the ATIAL will have to submit the performance bank guarantee to the AAI. ATIAL personnel will fly down to the capital and start observing the airport operations closely for two months. After the observation period, the ATIAL will take over the commercial operations as per the commercial operation date (COD).

After three months of taking over the commercial airport operations, officers of the DGM and above grade of the AAI working in the airport will be sent back to the AAI. Others up to the AGM grade will be retained in the airport as deemed ‘deputation.’

In the three years, the ATIAL will have to give two offers for 60% of the AAI personnel on the rolls and they will have to decide on staying with the private player. If 60% do not accept the offer, the Adani Group will have to pay the salary and other benefits to these staff till retirement.

A ‘novaton clause” will be introduced in the pact to change the existing agreement of the AAI for various works entrusted to the ATIAL. The power of attorney will be given by the AAI to the ATIAL for 50 years to the designated officer. The airport operations will be under a Chief Airport Officer.

Compulsory clauses are in the agreement to be inked to usher development of the airport as it has to be handed over back after 50 years to the AAI. Air Traffic Communication and Air Navigation Services will remain with the AAI during the lease period.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 6:37:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/atial-gears-up-to-take-over-capital-airport/article32893191.ece

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