Govt to review concessions for developing airports: Zaidi

New Delhi, April 6 (PTI):  In the face of new challenges posed in aviation security and safety, the government will soon take a “fresh look” at the concession agreements signed with private parties on developing airports in the country. However, the concession agreements already in existence with private players which govern the running of major airports like those in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Cochin may not be disturbed.
 “We are planning to review all the concession agreements. ....there is a need to have a fresh look to make them better,” Civil Aviation Secretary, Mr Nasim Zaidi said. Observing that the aviation and airport sector would require $30 billion worth of investments in the next 15 years, he said with the massive increase in air traffic, the development of new greenfield airports and upgradation of existing ones have thrown up new challenges. Issues like capital availability of the airport developer and greater coordination between different agencies working at the airports would be stressed or incorporated in the fresh concession agreements that may be entered into between private firms, Airports Authority of India and the government.
Later, Zaidi told PTI that the Association of Private Airport Operators (APAO), a body of Indian airport operators, had taken up various issues and made several suggestions which would also be considered in the process of reviewing the concession agreements. The APAO has raised reservations on suggestions that the private-led joint venture airport companies be brought under the ambit of statutory audit by the government, the Right to Information should also apply to them and regulatory approaches be evolved for determination of airport tariffs.