Friday, October 27, 2017

Airlines welcome changes, want better airport facilities

Most airlines have responded positively to the recent non-privatisation model airport, in lieu of the changes made in the last six months to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI). However, though they are happy with a single operator — Airports Authority of India — they want assurance of a futuristic at approach, considering the pace at which traffic is increasing. The partial privatisation made both passengers and airlines hopeful; but, the bidding has been delayed for more than a year now.

To attract more prospective bidders, the national airports operator, AAI, also made some major changes to the terms and conditions for privatising and modernising SVPI. The AAI had invited a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the bidders for the operation and maintenance of select areas of the Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports, late last year. The select areas include passenger terminal building, passenger boarding bridges, and apron area among others, as per the bid document.

The proposal mentions that the O&M will remain with private players and the infrastructure will be handled by the AAI. Speaking on it, Shalin Joshipura, Chairman, Airlines Operators Committee, Ahmedabad, said, "Ahmedabad has witnessed tremendous growth and to match that, operational area growth took place, but nothing happened on the terminal front. I am equally interested in seeing how we focus on terminal development. We are seeing positive changes at the terminal under the current leadership, but we need to be more futuristic. If we get an assurance of a futuristic approach and synchronisation of infrastructure with the pace at which traffic is growing, we wil be satisfied with the AAI."
27/10/17 Tanushree Bhatia/DNA

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