Give only small airports to pvt cos: AAI union

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SummaryOpposing the government plan to hand over six leading Airports Authority of India-run airports to private players, its employees union has asked the government to hand over smaller airports to them

Opposing the government plan to hand over six leading Airports Authority of India-run airports to private players, its employees union has asked the government to hand over smaller airports to them and not those where huge investment has already been made.

The union has also threatened a nation-wide four-day relay hunger strike from October 22 as a part of their ongoing agitation, which started earlier this month by sporting black ribbons, to protest the privatisation move.

The aviation ministry recently decided to hand over the AAI-run Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and Guwahati airports to private companies despite opposition from unions, after investing over Rs 5,000 crore for their modernisation.

“The government says it plans to develop a network of 100 smaller airports. So, why it should not ask private companies to develop them instead of giving the revenue generating ones to corporates,” Airports Authority of India (AAI) Employees Union general secretary Balraj Singh Ahlawat said.

Alleging that the government wants AAI to develop only those airports which would hardly have any traffic or revenue, Ahlawat said, “Our revenue has already gone down substantially due to privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports, which were the backbone of AAI.”

AirAsia India wants to use old Chennai terminal<\b>

Mumbai: Concerned over an expected cost escalation due to the government decision to privatise six more AAI-run airports, AirAsia India has sought the aviation ministry’s permission to run its proposed operations from the old terminal of the Chennai airport, sources said.

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