In a reversal of the decision taken by the previous Manmohan Singh government under UPA-II to modernise six major airports in the country under the public private partnership (PPP) model, the Narendra Modi government has decided to go ahead with PPP development of only two airports at Jaipur and Ahmedabad for now.
While the airports at Chennai and Kolkata have been taken off the present government’s privatisation scheme, no decision has been taken yet on the airports at Lucknow and Guwahati —from the list of six that was proposed by former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.
The government has been reconsidering the process of privatisation of these six major airports that was started by the previous UPA government. Ministry officials said Ahmedabad and Jaipur would hold enough interest for private bidders considering Ahmedabad is a business hub and Jaipur is a tourist hub.
Also, the department of civil aviation in the Gujarat government on Friday issued a Letter of Intent to M/s Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (MEHAIR) for starting regional air services across Gujarat. This has also made Gujarat the second only state after Madhya Pradesh to have its own regional intra-state aviation service.
Top sources in the ministry of civil aviation said the decision to take off the airports at Chennai and Kolkata has been taken considering the amount of investment that has already been pumped in to their development by the government.