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Airport privatisation: AAI extends bidding deadline again

Airports Authority of India

New Delhi: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has again extended the deadline for submitting bids for control of four airports, further delaying their privatisation process.

The private players can now submit their applications for short-listing till July 1, the AAI said today.

The AAI, which invited ‘Request for Qualification (RFQ)’ to handover the management, operations and development of the state-controlled airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur last year, had earlier extended the date for submitting the bids from March 24 to May 26.

The government-run airports operator, however, did not specify the reason for extending the deadline further.

The AAI had last time pushed the date on the grounds that it wanted to sort out manpower related issues prior to transferring these airports, which have already seen a public investment of Rs 5,000 crore, to the domestic corporates.

“There are many issues. There are issues relating to human resources. A concerted decision has to be taken (on such issues). Whatever are the concerns of the employees, they have to be addressed,” Airports Authority of India chairman R K Srivastava had said, while justifying the decision to extend the deadline earlier.

AAI employees union, however, is opposed to privatisation on the ground handing over these airports, after the two highest revenue-generating airports in Delhi and Mumbai, to the private sector would not only recede AAI’s topline but also lead to massive lay-offs.

Domestic corporates including Tata and Adani groups, existing airport operators GMR and GVK groups as well as Siemens Postal Parcel and Airport Logistics Private Limited, International Business Development Flughafen, Zurich, Flemingo Duty Free Shop Pvt Ltd and Cochin International Airport have shown interest in the these airports following the RFQ.

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