Privatising Six Airports | India’s Air Passenger Traffic to Touch 1 Billion; Puri

NEW DELHI:  India’s civil aviation sector is experiencing dynamic growth and air passenger traffic on an annual basis is expected to touch 1 billion in the coming years, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday, July 25.

The civil aviation minister told Lok Sabha that the government had taken a decision to privatise six airports, including at Lucknow and Ahmadabad. Out of the six, three have been awarded to Adani group and issues related to two others have been resolved, he said .

In 2018, the government decided to lease out airports at Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Mangaluru and Thiruvanathapuram. Earlier this month, the Cabinet approved leasing out Ahmadabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports to Adani group.

All the six airports were won through bidding by Adani group. Currently, the number of air passengers on an annual basis is around 345 million and growth indicates that it would reach 1 billion, Puri said.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has entered into an agreement with the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in June. The pact is for developing a “comprehensive Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/ Air Traffic Management road map for next 10 years,” Puri said.

Under financial grant from the USTDA, Boeing would carry out the study. “The study will be carried out by Boeing, USA in consultation with all stakeholders such as airlines, airport operations, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and AAI,” the minister said.

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