Lufthansa---First-Commercial-Flight-to-land-in-RGIAAirports Authority of India has further extended the deadline for submission of requests for qualification for the modernization of four airports, to August 1, 2015. The four airports that will be modernized under the PPP mode are Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. This the third time that the RfQ submission date has been extended from its original date of March 24, 2015.

According to reliable sources, those in the fray include GMR Group, GVK Group, Tata Realty, Essel Group, Adani Group and Siemens, among others. While GMR is the developer of the Hyderabad and the Delhi airports, GVK is involved in the Mumbai and Bengaluru airports.

In the case of the four airports of Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Ahmedabad, the PPP route is being employed for the operation, modernization and development of new facilities. In each of these airports, AAI has already invested in building infrastructure like terminal buildings. Private players are being invited for operating and maintaining the same.

In the Chennai airport for instance, AAI has already spent Rs.2,400 crore to construct a new terminal building and other aeronautical infrastructure. The selected concessionaire is expected to invest Rs.492 crore in the modification of the old terminal building, connectivity to the metro rail on the city side, modification of the domestic terminal, etc. Likewise, in the Ahmedabad airport, the concessionaire would invest Rs.472 crore to build a new terminal building, among several other upgrades and additions to the airport’s infrastructure.

So far, four airports—Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad—have seen the PPP route. It is important to note that Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports were greenfield airports. The Mumbai and Delhi airports were substantially modernized through the PPP mode. The government’s original plan was to develop four metro airports—Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai—on PPP basis. However, Kolkata and Chennai could not be modernized due to opposition from AAI employees and the then ruling state governments.

AAI therefore undertook the expansion of Chennai and Kolkata airports on its own. Now, even as the PPP philosophy is being revived, the involvement of the private sector in terms of investment will not be comparable to that of the Mumbai and Delhi airports. Some reports indicate that AAI employees are expressing doubts on the PPP route, especially when the private developer will only be maintaining infrastructure built by AAI.

Second runway: In an independent development, GVK Group’s Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), has begun work on the second runway and is in the process of planning for the design of the new terminal building. The ground work on the second run-way has commenced and includes levelling and other earth work. For the second terminal building, BIAL has began consultations with users – airlines, State Government and the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and concessionaries, for coming up with design and requirements needed by the stakeholders. The second runway and terminal building are expected to be operational by 2020. Post completion, the new terminal will accommodate 55 million passengers in a 30-year period, reports ProjectsToday.

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