Narendra Modi project: AAI calls off talks with Singapore agency on Ahmedabad, Jaipur airports
National airports operator AAI has terminated discussions with a Singaporean government agency to operate and maintain Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports, a proposal which was mooted during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Singapore last November.
Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) decision comes after its assessment that the Changi Airport’s proposal would not be commercially viable, a senior official close to the development said.
With regard to Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports, AAI had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) during Modi’s visit to the island nation.
In January, the Union Cabinet had also given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU.
According to the official, AAI held discussions with people from Changi Airport but could not reach “mutually agreeable terms”.
SCE had nominated Changi Airport for the proposed project. Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd runs the Changi airport in Singapore.
As giving the operation and maintenance of the two airports to the Singapore entity would not be “commercially viable”, AAI has decided not to go ahead with the proposed collaboration, the official said.
In this regard, AAI has written to the Singapore entity concerned, he added.
Queries sent to AAI acting Chairman in-charge S Raheja on the issue did not elicit any response.
According to the official, AAI would float a fresh tender to select entities through competitive bidding for operation and management of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports.
Under the MoU, both parties were to cooperate in planning and development of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports besides other aspects including traffic and commercial development, service quality and operations and management.
Globally, limited O&M (Operation & Maintenance) contract models are prevalent for the entire airport operations, the statement said, adding the AAI has no previous experience in awarding O&M contract model of terminal buildings to other entities.
In order to implement the decision, it was necessary to ensure that a suitable entity be engaged for undertaking the O&M contract at Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports, the statement said.
During 2014-15, Ahmedabad airport handled 5.05 million passengers, out of which 1.22 million were international travellers. In the same period, Jaipur airport saw 2.20 million passengers and out of them, 0.33 million were overseas people.