IRB’s wholly-owned project company – IRB Sindhudurg Airport Private Limited – is constructing the project on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) basis under a 95-year concession with MIDC.
Mumbai-based roads developer IRB Infrastructure Developers (IRB) is set to complete construction of its first greenfield airport in Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 300 crore, located some 170-km north of tourist hotspot Goa on the picturesque Konkan belt on the western ghats. The cost is lower than the Rs 520-crore estimate, calculated at the time of signing the concession agreement with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), as IRB was able to save on construction costs.
IRB’s wholly-owned project company – IRB Sindhudurg Airport Private Limited – is constructing the project on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) basis under a 95-year concession with MIDC. The construction cost has been funded using transfers from IRB to the project company, which has yet to raise debt. The aviation ministry would like to make Sindhudurg a cargo hub and talks between IRB’s management and civil aviation ministry are going on. Airlines are yet to commit to use the airport which IRB plans to open in September.
IRB is in talks with airlines to firm up its revenue model for the greenfield airport, a process which could take up to 6-8 months. Virendra Mhaiskar, CMD, IRB Infrastructure, said that airlines would like to see the facilities and the licences the company has in hand. He said, “We have been talking to some of them and they have shown interest. It may take a couple of years to stabilise, to improve connectivity, and for more airlines to find it sensible to operate on this route.” The airport is part of the government’s regional connectivity plan to develop smaller cities through air traffic. It is being built in Chipi-Parule in Sindhudurg district and will be the 14th airport in Maharashtra.
It will potentially serve both domestic and international charter flights. It has a 2.5-km runway and will have a capacity to handle 800 passengers arrivals and departures during peak hours.