Thursday, June 04, 2020

Airport pact only in August? Global air travel bar increases wait time

Greater Noida: The Jewar airport project is seen as one of the big employers of migrant workers who have returned to the city but despite receiving both environmental and security clearances from the Centre, the signing of the deal without which work cannot start on the ground could be delayed till August.
This is because, officials said, the signatories on behalf of Zurich AG, the concessionaire, have to come from abroad, and they can’t as long as international air travel does not resume. Apart from Switzerland, allowing air traffic from Malaysia will also be crucial because the Asia office of the company is located in Kuala Lumpur and the presence of the Asia director is mandatory.
Actually the deal is to inked between UP government’s Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) and Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a special purpose vehicle formed by Zurich AG. NIAL has now sought time till August 17 on the request of Zurich AG, officials said.

YIAPL cleared the last hurdle on May 18 and obtained security clearance from the Union home ministry. However, due to coronavirus outbreak, the Indian government suspended international flights. Though as per the original terms and conditions, the concession agreement was to be signed within 45 days of obtaining security clearance, the company asked authorities to extend the deadline because of the flight ban.

Confirming the development, NIAL’s nodal officer Shailendra Bhatia told TOI that additional time has been sought from the state government to formalise the concession agreement.

“Instead of 45 days, Zurich AG would be given 90 days to sign the agreement. We have requested state government to extend the deadline to August 17,” he said.
04/05/20 Shalabh/Times of India

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