Modernisation of Delhi, Mumbai airports rolls down the tarmac

New Delhi, Jan 6 | Updated: Jan 7 2006, 06:06am hrs
Cutting across party lines, the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on civil aviation, which met here on Friday called for modernisation and restructuring of Delhi and Mumbai airports without any further delay.

The consultative meeting, which was chaired by the civil aviation minister Praful Patel, discussed the functioning of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The members pointed out that the process was given a go-ahead by the Parliament and should thus be given utmost priority. Besides both the airports were in a very bad shape and needed urgent attention. The members also raised issues relating to safety and security issues including using of Instrumental Landing Systems (ILS) for landing aircrafts in foggy situation, a release issued here said.

Meanwhile, the government has constituted a task force headed by the member Planning Commission for finalisation of the financial model for the development of 35 non-metro airports.

The task force is expected to give its report by March 2006. The government has already appointed consultants to advise AAI on the development of these airports to be developed at an estimated expenditure of Rs 5,500 crore.

AK Capital Services Limited has been appointed as financial advisor-cum-lead arranger to advise AAI on possible debt funding options.

Task Force formed to finalise financial model to develop 35 non-metro airports
International departure terminal proposed at Kolkata at a cost of Rs 215 crore
Night parking charges cut by 50% at non-metro airports
Upgradation work at Chennai and Kolkata initiated by AAI
The AAI has also initiated upgradation work at Chennai and Kolkata airports. In Kolkata a new international departure terminal is proposed to be constructed at a tentative cost of Rs 215 crore.

Additionally, in order to encourage the airline operators to use non-metro airports and decongest six busy airports i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, the night parking charges between 2200 hrs to 0600 hrs have been reduced to 50% of the existing parking charges for all airline operators at AAI Airports from January 1, 2006.

Amongst the members who attended the meeting were Tapir Galo, Ratilal K. Verma, MS Gill, Janardan Dwivedi, Dinesh Trivedi, Sanjay Raut, Vijay Mallya, Rajeev Shukla and Bashistha Narain Singh.