Cabinet approves proposal to lease out 3 airports of AAI through Public Private Partnership model

Union Cabinet on Wednesday (August 19) approved the proposal for leasing out three airports- Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram - of Airports Authority of India (AAI) through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), said Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Jitendra Singh while briefing the media on the cabinet decisions.

Earlier, the Modi government had decided to privatize 12 airports of the AAI. The decision on privatisation of six airports of Ahmadabad, Mangalore, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, and Jaipur have already been taken in the first phase.

Adani Group got all these airports through the highest bid in the bidding process, as the Group had signed the concessionaire agreement with the AAI for three airports - Ahmedabad, Mangaluru, and Lucknow - on February 14, 2020, and for the other three airports, it is yet to sign the concessionaire agreement.

During a webinar on Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the ministry would place a proposal for "further" privatisation of airports before the Union Cabinet."We are going to the Cabinet tomorrow for further airport privatisation. We have got many more airports lined up, dozens of them, and the 100 new airports we will build between now and 2030," Puri added. 

In February 2019, the first round of privatisation, airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati were cleared for operation, management, and development through public-private partnership (PPP) model.

Notably, the AAI in September 2019 had also recommended the Civil Aviation Ministry to privatise airports in Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Raipur, and Trichy. The AAI, which works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, owns and manages more than 100 airports across the country.