Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Trivandrum airport may stay under Kerala’s wings

Thiruvananthapuram: The state is most likely to get the operational rights of the Trivandrum International Airport, which the Central Government had decided to privatise along with five others in the country.

Sources told Express that a formal understanding in this regard has been reached at the secretary level. The state government has suggested the formation of a committee headed by the chief secretary to work out the modalities.

Trivandrum International Airport Limited (TIAL), the special purpose vehicle formed to bid for the airport, is likely to be entrusted with the task of running it. The new committee is likely to take a call on the company’s shareholding while the state government is likely to have stakes only in proportion to the investment it had made in the airport development over the years.

A consortium of companies to be included in TIAL will have crucial stakes. The number of companies is not known yet, but Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) which won the bid for the airport operation and the NRI businessman who had exerted pressure to keep the airport in state custody may have significant stakes.

Adani Enterprises cannot opt out of the race unilaterally as it was the winning bidder for the airport as withdrawal would invite forfeiting of its properties. Moreover, Adani Enterprises has interest to be part of the airport as it is currently developing the international multipurpose deepwater seaport at Vizhinjam, Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, the asset estimation conducted by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) as part of leasing out six airports to the winning bidder has come to light. The winner was told to make one-time upfront pay to AAI as reimbursement of the cost of existing capital assets.
10/07/19 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

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